Wednesday Feb 17, 2016

Top 10 Ways to Conference

This week I hosted a Ladies Who Java session and reception at DevNexus in Atlanta, Georgia.  One of the cool things about this conference is that they have a scholarship program for women with the Atlanta Women Who Code group.  This reception was an opportunity for the women to get together and since many were new to attending technology conferences, I put together a brief Top 10 Ways to Conference talk.  We also did some introductions and networking activities. This was a fun and productive event.  I would like to see more conferences organize this type of activity.

The attendees requested I publish it, so see below for the list.  

1. Introduce yourself to others – this is the best way to get something out of the experience. Be yourself – in personality and appearance. Remember to follow up!

2. Review the schedule – pick sessions to attend in advance. Pair with someone you just met.

3. Attend the sessions. As many as possible. Think of topics or methods you can present next year or at other conferences.Share what you have learned on Twitter., blogs, etc.

4. Voice your opinions confidently and introduce yourself to speakers.

5. Go to informal social events. This is not the time to chill in your room – you can sleep later!

6. Attend the keynotes and closing sessions.

7. Attend the evening sessions also.

8. Hangout in the informal spaces – hallway track, nighthacking stage, hacker areas, etc.

9. Have fun :). Any issues or requests, talk to conference organizers.

10. Remember YOU ROCK and the organizers want you to have an awesome experience!

Wednesday Oct 21, 2015

Oracle's Cyndi Chin-Lee Wins Women of Color Technology All-Star Award!

Cyndi Chin-Lee was honored as a "2015 Women of Color Technology All-Star" award recipient at the 2015 Women of Color STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) conference in Detroit, Michigan, October 15-17, 2015.

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Cyndi is an avid story-teller, an outstanding writer and a fierce ally of LGBT population, a great community player that is always striving to make a difference - she is truly an inspiration in many regards.

Cyndi, who is a great technologist, also supports women through Oracle's Women's Leadership group and is an accomplished author. Her latest book, Operation Marriage, about a real life same sex couple facing the perils of Prop 8, was nominated for several awards and turned into a short film available on YouTube.

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 Cyndi with Denise Wall, Director of Human Capital Management Alliances

Internally, you can find her in Aria by the name of Cynthia Chinlee.

We are all so proud of her!

Friday Sep 21, 2012

Oracle will be a Bronze Sponsor of Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing

Oracle is proud to be a Bronze Sponsor at the upcoming Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing from October 3-6, 2012 in Baltimore, MD. Oracle's Women's Leadership group, Oracle's Diversity & Inclusion program and Product Development are proud to be behind this sponsorship.

Several women from Oracle will be presenting and participating at the conference:
  • Industry Track: "From Engineer to Executive; The Path Forward", speaker Susan Zwinger VP, Global Systems Technology Service Center
  • Theme Track: "Are We There Yet? Finding Your Career Sweet Spot", speaker Gilda Garreton, Principal Software Engineer
  • Birds of a feather:  "Juggling Our Different Worlds", speaker Gilda Garreton
  • New Investigator Co-Chair, Gilda Garreton
  • Communities Committee Co-Chair, Valerie Fenwick, Manager Software Development
  • "Considering a shift in career from Technical towards Management?" table host,  Valerie Fenwick
Oracle will have a booth as well, so stop by and introduce yourself!

Monday Sep 19, 2011

Oracle Will be a Silver Sponsor of Grace Hopper

Oracle is pleased to be a Silver Sponsor for the upcoming Grace Hopper Celebration
of Women in Computing
in Portland, Oregon November 9-12, 2011. Oracle's Women's
Leadership group and Oracle's Diversity program are proud to be behind this

Several women from Oracle will be presenting at the conference:

  • "Career Experiences, Challenges and Opportunities", Ana Chang
  • "Security Attacks! Countermeasures and Protecting Yourself Online", Valerie Fenwick
  • BoF: "Speed Mentoring for Women in Color in Technology", Gilda Garreton
  • BoF: "Industry Researcher", Gilda Garreton
  • Research Lunch Organizer, Tarik Ono
Oracle will be recruiting at the event as well, so bring your resumes and look for the Oracle booth!

Thursday Mar 31, 2011

Oracle Women Enjoy Women of Vision 2010

I can't believe this is already coming up again so soon! The Anita Borg Institute is yet  again hosting the Women of Vision awards in Santa Clara, CA in May.

Last year, Legacy Sun employees were able to meet up with Classic Oracle employees and we all got to learn a lot about each other and our respective organizations.  All of us were so inspired by the winners of the Women of Vision and came back to work energized and invigorated.

Oracle Employees at Women of Vision 2010

Oracle women staying after the event to get to know each other and share what we had just learned.

Friday Nov 20, 2009

Recent news and blogs of interest to Sun Women

Catching up on news and blogs of interest to Sun Women:

    "Sun at the 2009 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing"
    Sun News dated September 21, 2008 -
    The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (GHC) conference will be held in Tucson, Arizona, September 30 - October 3, 2009. Twenty-four Sun employees will attend this year's conference, including Sun CTO Greg Papadopoulos, who will present an invited technical talk on his new book — Citizen Engineer, A Handbook for Socially Responsible Engineering . Co-authored by Dave Douglas and John Boutelle, Citizen Engineer examines the rapidly changing engineering world and provides practical advice to help engineers of all types master the requirements to succeed in this new era.

    Women Ph.D. Students Win Scholarships to Grace Hopper Conference
    This is the second year that the at Sun Labs has awarded Grace Hopper Conference scholarships to two women interested in hardware development. These scholarships underscore Sun's promotion and support for computer hardware research. The students are Taniya Siddiqua, a Ph.D. candidate in computer science at the University of Virginia, and Lamia M. Youseff, a Ph.D. candidate in computer science at the University of California, Santa Barbara. 

Tuesday Sep 08, 2009

Sun Women in Anita Borg Institute Newsletter

The Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology Newsletter has recently featured articles by two Sun women:

  • "Why I'm Glad I Attended GHC" by Valerie Fenwick, September 2009
  • "The Particular Value of Mentoring" by Katy Dickinson, July 2009

The September 2009 newsletter issue also included the article  "Sun Mentoring: 1996-2009" about the Sun Labs Technical Report of that title just published by Katy Dickinson, Tanya Jankot, and Helen Gracon.

"Sun Mentoring: 1996-2009" is available at:

Subscribe to the newsletter:

Wednesday Jul 08, 2009

The Triumph of the Vote

Mr. Robert P. J. Cooney, Jr. came to Sun Microsystems today to talk to the Women@Sun group about the triumphant women's suffrage movement in the United States that took more than 60 years to gain success. Sixty years! Just for women to get the right to vote!  [1] Mr. Cooney became interested in this movement in the 1970s when attending school to become a graphic artist, when he realized the large prejudice that women needed to overcome and that they were able to do this in a nonviolent way.

This was such a difficult task, as the women had to convince men that not only were women prepared to vote, but that women were educated and informed. Only men could decide whether or not to grant women the right to vote, and many of these men were ignorant, uneducated and even illiterate.  A difficult task at hand, indeed!

Suffragists started with parades in different states to raise awareness of their concerns, along with organizing peaceful rallies. Getting women to join in these events was difficult, as many were afraid that their participation would be seen as too forward by the men and scare the men off of giving them the vote even more, but the suffragists knew they could not be silent. They need to be seen to be heard.

The US Supreme Court had ruled that it was an issue that should be decided by the states, so the women had to levy campaigns in each and every state, a very arduous process indeed! These campaigns were most successful in the progressive west. East of the Mississippi, the only suffrage many women could get was the ability to vote only for school boards and other small, local positions.

Susan B. Anthony strongly believed it was really a federal issue, and began the push for a federal amendment to the US Constitution. Unfortunately, she died before seeing this come to pass, after 45 years of tireless effort on her part.  Fortunately, there were other women ready to take up the task at hand and push the movement forward, even in times of war.

The women found they were ignored by both major political parties, so their took their parades to the democratic and republican conventions. At one of them, the women actually had a silent, still "parade" - where they all wore white with golden jewelry and parasols and lined the street and stood silently while the delegates were participating in their own march down that same street. The eerie silence had great impact on those delegates, bringing the rights of women to the forefront of their minds.

When the suffragists were not getting momentum they wanted at the national level, they began to leverage their vote in the western states to oust seated national politicians, targeting, in particular, the democratic party. I find this an interesting historic note, as the democrat party is now associated with women's rights, but apparently the turn of the 19th century told a different story.

Mr. Cooney has documented this in his book, Winning the Vote: The Triumph of the American Woman Suffrage Movement, which is filled with outstanding images of the buttons and posters the suffragists made, as well as pictures of the rallies and events and documentation of the cruel treatment several women received for protesting peacefully outside of the White House during World War I.

Mt. Cooney is an eloquent speaker and I really look forward to reading his book in the up coming weeks, but all of this reminds me that all over the world today, women still do not have the right to vote and have themselves represented. It's so disturbing to me, because it seems like such an inalienable right. How can we be citizens and pay taxes and not vote? But, if it took more than 60 years to make such thing a documented right in a progressive country like our own, it may be many more lifetimes before women the world over have these same freedoms and the same voice. Let's hope it comes sooner than later, for all of our sakes.

Valerie Fenwick

[1] As pointed out during the Q&A session, not all women gained the right to vote in all states in 1920.  For many women of color, particularly those that lived in the south, that quest took another 40 years, where they had to fight along side their brothers and fathers to get the same equal representation.

Monday May 18, 2009

13 Sun Presentations at Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing

The Hopper conference announced its acceptances yesterday. I just finished collecting review results from Sun's submitters. Sun staff submitted or were part of groups which submitted 19 proposals to Hopper 2009 and 13 were accepted (69%) - Sun's best acceptance rate ever! This includes Susan Landau's invited technical talk. The 2009 Sun presenters are from a very broad range of Engineering disciplines: Microelectronics, Software, Storage, Sun Labs, and the Systems group.

GHC 2009 will be held:

      Tucson, Arizona
      September 30 - October 3, 2009

Sun will be a Platinum Corporate Sponsor for the Hopper conference again this year.

For more, see the detailed list on

-- Katy Dickinson
Director, Business Process Architecture,
Chief Technologist's Office

Thursday May 14, 2009

Susan Zwinger honored with YWCA's Tribute to Women and INdustry (TWIN) award

Congratulations to Susan Zwinger!

Susan has been selected to receive the YWCA's 2009 Tribute to Women and INdustry (TWIN) award. This prestigious honor recognizes gifted women leaders in executive, professional, or managerial positions who have made outstanding contributions to the industries in which they work.

She will be honored at an upcoming luncheon celebration at the San Diego Convention Center.

Monday Apr 06, 2009

Susan Landau named as one of the most influential women in technology

The magazine Fast Company named Sun's Susan Landau as one of the five smartest women technologists today! Congratulations, Susan!

Tuesday Mar 24, 2009

First Two Women Voted onto the OpenSolaris Governing Board

The OpenSolaris Governing Board just announced its newly
elected 2009-2010 membership.  Congratulations to:

   \* John Beck
   \* Valerie Fenwick
   \* Michelle Olson
   \* Simon Phipps
   \* John Plocher
   \* Peter Tribble
   \* Jim Walker

Special congratulations to Michelle and Valerie who are the first
women to be elected to the OGB by the worldwide OpenSolaris community.

About OpenSolaris -

About the OGB -

Technical Women and Ada Lovelace Day, Tuesday, March 24

Today Tuesday, March 24 is Ada Lovelace Day, an international day of blogging to draw attention to women excelling in technology.

Recent research by psychologist Penelope Lockwood discovered that women need to see female role models more than men need to see male ones and we could address the issue by highlighting the women in technology that we look up to. So to be part of this initiative, all you need to do is to sign the pledge. It doesn’t matter how new or old your blog is, what gender you are, what language you blog in, or what you normally blog about - everyone is invited.

If you blog, you can add your post to the Ada Lovelace Day mashup at so it will show up in the list.

If you'd like to participate but don't have a blog of your own, you can add to the comments at (short url:


Wednesday Oct 01, 2008

Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing started tonight!

The always exciting and invigorating Grace Hopper conference has started tonight in Keystone, CO. Sun is yet again a corporate platinum sponsor for the event, which means we will all be busy as bees while we're here.  I'll be blogging on my personal blog about the conference, if you can't make it, otherwise please stop by the Sun booth and see many of the women who work here.

Valerie Fenwick

Tuesday Sep 09, 2008

Women in Technology Workshop - Boston Area

 Women in Technology Workshop - Boston Area

Workshop Details:

Registration Information:

Official website of the EmTech Conference:


We share news and accolades about Women at Oracle.


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