Technology: The Unfulfilled Promise and Its Opportunities

Telle Whitney
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The promise of technology is its ability to truly democratize, empower, enable and enhance the quality of life for all of humankind. Whether it was development of the printing press, Rita Colwell's fundamental research on cholera and clean water, or the creation of the Internet, with its power to level the playing field, technology has been illuminated by the guiding promise of making the world a better place.

Yet this promise remains unfulfilled. Universal literacy is still beyond our reach, thousands die each year for lack of clean water, and the gulf between the "haves" and the "have-nots" grows each day. Imagine a world where technology extended into fields and villages, into inner cities, to all women and children, to the impoverished and the illiterate, to the stars.

To fundamentally change the technology that is created, we must authentically embrace our diverse populations and engage them in the creation of technology. Today, innovative programs exist and are beginning to flourish and attract different populations to the study and creation of technology. Throughout the world, individuals, organizations, and corporations are working not only to bring the promise of technology to everyone but to engage, educate, and foster the creation of technology from truly diverse groups and cultures.

At the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology, we are committed to empowering and celebrating a new kind of leader in this field and to increasing the participation of women in technology in pursuit of technology's bright future.

Keywords: TBA
Presentation Type: Plenary Presentation in English
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Telle Whitney

President and CEO, Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology

Telle Whitney is President and CEO of the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology. A long-time friend and colleague of Institute founder Dr Anita Borg (1949-2003), Dr Whitney has 20 years of experience in the semiconductor and telecommunications industries and has a longstanding commitment to increasing the presence and impact of women in the technology field. Dr Whitney was part of the founding management team at Malleable Technologies, a startup in the programmable communication area. Malleable was acquired by PMC-Sierra in June 2000. She served as Vice President of Engineering at Malleable until its acquisition. Prior to joining Malleable, Dr Whitney was an executive at Actel Corporation, where she held a number of diverse positions in the software engineering and chip design area. In 1994 Dr Whitney co-founded the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (GHC) conference along with Dr Anita Borg. Today, the GHC conference is one of the Institute's flagship events, and the largest technical gathering for women in the world. Dr Whitney served as ACM Secretary/Treasurer in 2003-2004, and serves on the ACM Queue advisory board. She is a member of the National Science Foundation Committee for Equal Opportunity in Science and Engineering (CEOSE) and a co-founder of the National Center for Women and Information Technology. She serves on the advisory board of Mentornet and the Professional Business Women's Conference (PBWC). Telle received her Ph.D. from Caltech, and her BS at the University of Utah, both in Computer Science.

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