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Anita Borg Institute Honors the Top Company for Technical Women and Three Inspiring Women in Technology at Women of Vision Awards Banquet

(May 11, 2012)

PALO ALTO, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 05/11/12 -- The Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology (ABI) hosted its seventh annual Anita Borg Institute Women of Vision Awards Banquet on May 10th to honor the Anita Borg Top Company for Technical Women Award winner, American Express, and the three Women of Vision Award winners, Jennifer Chayes, Sarita Adve and Sarah Revi Sterling, highlighting their accomplishments and contributions in three areas: Innovation, Leadership and Social Impact. Two Top Company Award finalists, Intuit and SAP, were also recognized for their strong representation of technical women and demonstrated momentum in the advancement of women.

The 2012 Anita Borg Top Company for Technical Women Award was accepted by Yvonne Schneider, Senior Vice President, Global Corporate Technologies, American Express. She highlighted in her speech the best practices that enable American Express to achieve a representation of more than 30% women among all technical employees at all levels, "These women have benefited from a number of best-practice programs and benefits, such as flexible scheduling, the creation of a vibrant women's network and community, ready access to formal and informal mentors, strong sponsorship, and a focus on creating awareness of gender intelligence among the workforce overall."

Social Impact award winner S. Revi Sterling, Director, ICTD Graduate Studies, University of Colorado at Boulder, inspired the audience with her definition of success. "I am successful if I can translate human need into appropriate technology solutions. I am successful if the communities I work with get to enjoy a sustainable higher standard of living after we've worked together, if I can offer a way to proactively understand and respond to climate change, migration, conflict, economic insecurity and gender inequity, if I can provide access to critical information so that people who had no voice can leapfrog to having choice."

Jennifer Chayes, Distinguished Scientist and Managing Director of Microsoft Research New England, the leadership award winner, was recognized for her leadership in the field of accessibility. Jennifer Chayes' acceptance speech defined the true meaning of leadership for the audience, "leadership was a journey of recognizing, embracing and leveraging my own unique gifts, and then helping others to recognize, embracing and leverage theirs."

Sarita V. Adve, Professor, Department of Computer Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign received the Innovation award. "Be passionate about what you do. That passion will not come overnight. It requires choosing an important problem, wanting to make a lasting difference, going deep into the problem, questioning fundamental assumptions, and working very hard. Some of this hard work is fun and some not so much. But when those moments of insight come when you understand and solve a problem that you so deeply care about, and then when you do succeed in convincing others to see things your way -- there is no feeling that can beat that feeling of satisfaction."

Keynote speaker Kara Swisher, co-executive editor at All Things Digital, inspired the audience about the future of technology. "This is a very important time, it's a sea change," said Swisher. "Technology is moving out of its geeky phase and into an era of becoming invisible and increasingly integrated into our lives. Many of the technologies that are pervasive today are inclusive, encouraging communication, cooperation, being part of a group, and sharing. This contributes to a disenfranchisement and breaking down of barriers that makes it easier to do things we couldn't do before, like start a new company."

The 800 attendees included industry and academic professionals, college and high school women. More than 100 students attended the event, their attendance sponsored by technology companies and local universities. The second annual Anita Borg Top Company for Technical Women Workshop was held earlier in the day and hosted more than 200 industry professionals focused on best practices to recruit, retain and advance technical women.

The 2012 Women of Vision Awards was supported by dinner host Lockheed Martin. The Gold Sponsors were NetApp and Thomson Reuters. Silver sponsors were Cisco and Symantec. Bronze Sponsors were Career Action Center, Facebook, IBM, Marvell, Microsoft and Neustar.

About the Award Winners

American Express

American Express is the Anita Borg Top Company for Technical Women Award Winner. American Express exemplifies many of the acknowledged best practices in the creation of a diverse and vibrant technical workforce. These include having a highly flexible work schedule; the creation of a vibrant women's community; a strong sponsorship program and a focus on creating awareness of gender intelligence among the workforce overall. American Express has demonstrated leadership in its ability to recruit, retain and advance technical women, with women representing over 30% of all its technical employees, including at the technical executive level.

Jennifer Chayes, Distinguished Scientist and Managing Director of Microsoft Research New England

Jennifer Chayes is the Women of Vision Award winner in the Leadership category. She is recognized for her work based on the impact she has had on computer science through her leadership in building research communities that bridge theoretical computer science, mathematics, physics, statistics, economics and computational biology. Through her founding and leadership of the theory group at Microsoft Research, and more recently the Microsoft New England Research Lab, she has influenced and mentored hundreds of researchers. In her own research she has spearheaded extremely important foundational work on dynamic random networks in theoretical computer science.

Sarita V. Adve, Professor, Department of Computer Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Sarita V. Adve is the Women of Vision Award winner in the Innovation category. She is honored for her immense contributions to hardware and software memory models. These models define the meaning of shared variables in parallel hardware and software and form the foundation for reasoning about parallel programs and optimizing them for performance. She co-developed the memory models for the Java language and for the new C++ standard, based on her early work on data-race-free models for hardware. Acceptance of these models required generating consensus among broad hardware and software communities in a field that had been surprisingly contentious for multiple decades. She has also made significant contributions in energy-efficient design, in reliable systems design, and in multiprocessor memory systems.

S. Revi Sterling, Director, ICTD Graduate Studies, University of Colorado at Boulder

S. Revi Sterling is the Women of Vision Award winner in the Social Impact category. She is recognized for conceiving, implementing and leading programs that have had a direct, positive and lasting impact on the lives of women. She pioneered the development of a new participatory community radio technology that enables women to create content for broadcasting, even if they are far from the station. Variants of this have been deployed worldwide. Today, she is creating a new generation of "academic practitioners" who can create innovative technologies while solving difficult community development problems that continue to stymie the international development field. Revi realized the need for these practitioners based on her own research and fieldwork in Africa, India and South and Central America, where she has created and deployed appropriate and sustainable education, health and livelihood programs based upon a variety of innovative networking technologies.

About the Women of Vision Awards
Women of Vision award winners are selected from leading women engaged in technology professions in industry, academia, NGOs or government. Selection is Winners are chosen by a committee of industry and academic leaders. Videos about the three winners are posted on the Anita Borg Institute YouTube channel.

About the Anita Borg Top Company for Technical Women Award

The Anita Borg Top Company for Technical Women Award recognizes an organization that has demonstrated measurable results in the recruitment, retention, and advancement of technical women at all levels. Grounded in organizational research and based on quantitative data, the award measures the current representation of technical women as well as improvement in women's representation over time. Nominations for the 2013 Award open July 9, 2012.

About the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology
The Anita Borg Institute provides resources and programs to help industry, academia, and government recruit, retain, and develop women leaders in high-tech fields, resulting in higher levels of technological innovation. Our programs serve high-tech women by creating a community and providing tools to help them develop their careers. The Anita Borg Institute is a not-for-profit 501(c) 3 charitable organization. Partners include: Google, HP, Microsoft, CA Technologies, Cisco, Facebook, First Republic Bank, IBM, Intel, Intuit, Lockheed Martin, Marvell, National Science Foundation, National Security Agency, NetApp, SAP, Symantec, Thomson Reuters, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, Amazon, Broadcom, Juniper Networks, Motorola Foundation, Raytheon,, and Yahoo! For more information, visit

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