IB Times
Participants listening to a speaker at GHCI, 2014.Anita Borg Institute India

Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing India (GHCI), billed as the largest gathering of Indian women technologists in India, is expecting about 2,200 women to attend the event's sixth edition, far more than the 1,600 last year.

Anita Borg Institute (ABI) India, a not-for-profit institute, organises the event every year; the three-day celebration begins on Wednesday, 2 December, in Bengaluru (Bangalore).

The organisers have lined up a slew of sessions this year, starting with panel discussions on innovation, Made in India, inclusion, Internet @ India 2.0, and a students-only career fair, in addition to the regular woman entrepreneur quest (WEQ) that will see presentations by six finalists heading start-ups that are less than three years old.

Another event is 'Tech for Good 2015' Hackathon.

Geetha Kannan, the managing director of ABI India, said the event, besides enabling women to interact, would also help those who want to return to their corporate careers after having opted to quit for various reasons.

"Starting from education and all along the career ladder, women keep dropping off for marriage, bringing up children, taking care of ageing parentsm, and so on. Therefore, we started the 'back-to-work' concept in our career fair for such women," she said.

The problem is more pronounced in the information technology (IT) sector, according to Kannan. "If you go on leave for six months or one year, you are almost dated and so your confidence level goes down. Further, companies themselves don't know how to reach out to such women."

The career fair, she said, would help such women who are basically corporate-ready and are keen to return to work after what she called "an official timeout" since they will get a chance to interact with potential recruiters.

Besides, the GHCI will also hold its regular WEQ this year on the last day.

"Six shortlisted women entrepreneurs will make their presentations about their ventures from which we will choose one winner who will get a cash prize. Also, all six finalists will get the opportunity to go to the Silicon Valley to visit IT companies and meet venture capitalists to make a pitch for (funding) their ventures," she said.

The Great Place To Work Institute India, in association with Nasscom, had come out with a list of 50 best companies to work for in the Information Technology—Business Process Management sector, out of 149 that applied and 139 that were assessed.

The 50 companies include Google India, Adobe Systems India, Happiest Minds Technologies, HCL Technologies,  Microsoft Corporation India, NIIT Technologies, SAP Labs, Akamai Technologies India. 

Some of these companies are likely to be present at GHCI, increasing job prospects for aspiring women technologists.

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