At the Grace Hopper Conference, I had the chance to meet Ekaterina Fedotova the director for Information Dissemination and Equal Access (IDEA) project in Russia. Ekaterina is the 2009 winner of the Anita Borg Social Impact award.
Ekaterina’s work brings computer skills to underserved and disadvantaged populations in 51 cities across Russia’s 42 regions. Her work embodies technology for social good. For the people who participate in the IDEA program, most of whom are over 35, the training can be life changing as the classes bring skills that allow participants to grow their careers by providing much needed technical skills.
It is because of the impact of the IDEA centers that the project has grown – today to over 60 centers and plans to expand to the Ukraine over the next year. Ekaterina is an inspiration, and her work sets the standard for what is possible.
I also had the chance to meet Nadya Mason, this years Denice Denton Emerging Leader award winner. Nadya is an assistant professor of physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has established herself as a leader in the ambitious area of the quantum limits of low dimensional systems. What makes Nadya unique is that she is both committed to an ambitious research agenda, and finds time to be a spokesperson for increasing diversity in physics.
These two women are remarkable role models in technology. I look forward to tracking their career, and their future. It was an honor to meet both of them.