Telle Whitney never anticipated that she would keep her position as President and CEO of the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology when she first took the role in 2002. But what began as a temporary position while the institute searched for a replacement for Anita Borg, who was diagnosed with brain cancer in 1999 and passed away in 2003, soon blossomed into a career for Whitney.
“I loved creating technology, but I was almost always one of the only women at the table, especially as I moved into leadership roles,” she explains.
A computer scientist by trade, Whitney has grown the institute, which develops programs and tools for women in the technology industry, into a well-funded organization that works with thousands of women and partners with 26 corporations, including Google, HP, and Microsoft.
Now Whitney is bringing the institute to an international audience, beginning with the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing in India, an extension of the U.S.-based Grace Hopper conferences that bring together technologically-minded females for sessions about the research and career interests of women. In the coming years, Whitney hopes to bring Grace Hopper to at least one more country. “We continue to look at the changing culture of technology,” she says.