Googlers @ the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing: Rachel

Here at Google we’re excited to attend #GHC15 this week. To start the celebration early, we’re sharing stories about a few Googlers that represent some of the many faces in tech.

Meet Rachel. Rachel is a Product Manager at Google Seattle. She leads the Chrome Sync and Site Isolation efforts, working with her team to answer the questions, “How can Chrome help users get the most out of the web across multiple devices, and protect users against malicious websites?” She lives in Seattle with her wife, Jennifer, and little dog, Tesla -- both of whom she met on the internet. This will be her fourth time attending the Grace Hopper Conference (GHC).

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Rachel, you’ve attend GHC three times throughout your career -- how has each experience impacted you?

When I attended GHC in ‘07 and ‘08, I made connections with other students and early career PMs. My friends from GHC became a broad, diverse professional network that was with me right from the start, and they have helped me seize opportunities to do the work I want to do. For example, when I was applying to Google in 2012, my roommate from GHC ‘08 edited my resume and introduced me to Googlers so that I could get more perspectives on open positions that matched my skills and interests.

When I attended GHC last year as a mid-career PM, my favorite experience was talking to a college junior who was majoring in Psychology and Computer Science (like I did) and planned to become a PM (like I am). She exclaimed, “OMG you are me, but in the future!” and that was a powerful moment for me because in my career there haven’t always been people around who are like me.

So my advice is talk to strangers! Senior people of all genders attend GHC because they care about technical women. They want to support you, so introduce yourself, ask questions, and ask for a business card before you walk away.

That’s great advice. Do you have any other tips to share?

I’m a big proponent of the 50/50 strategy for GHC -- 50% talks that interest you, 50% meeting people, mentoring, networking. The opportunity to get to know other Googlers and peers across the industry who all care about gender diversity is one of the most valuable things I’ve gotten out of the conference.

Give generously of your knowledge, especially if you have some industry or post-graduate experience. Share your story with those who want to follow in your footsteps.

Read twitter, and participate if you feel like it. Follow people who say interesting GHC-related things -- they'll keep saying interesting things after GHC too, and you’ll get to hear from a more diverse group of thinkers on industry topics.

Lastly, scout out quiet spaces where you can recharge your phone and chat with your neighbors. And leave room in your bag for the swag!

It seems clear that one of the best parts about attending GHC has been the people you’ve gotten to meet. In your view, what’s the best part about being a Googler?

Having the opportunity to try new things -- and being part of a culture that knows good ideas can come from anywhere.

If you’re attending GHC next week, look out for Rachel and stop by Booth 221 to meet even more Googlers! #GoogleGHC15