Like many of you, I look forward to ISC each year for the opportunity to engage directly with customers, to catch up with colleagues, and to see what the industry is showcasing.

During the past few years, I have also had the pleasure of contributing to and engaging with the Women in HPC (WHPC) organization, founded by Dr. Toni Collis of University of Edinburgh. This organization’s mission asks a simple question: why are more women not in HPC? The broader question in technology being asked right now focuses on diversity.

I have been honored to speak at WHPC events at both SC and ISC, and they always provide an opportunity not only to reflect on my own career experience but also to hear the experiences of others.

Not to discount a significant amount of hard work on my part, but I have been fortunate overall in my career. For example, I have been privileged to have excellent mentors; I have always been clear on my personal goals and vision; and I have never struggled to find my voice.

As I said, I have been quite fortunate. Many women, however, have had experiences that are quite different from mine, reminding me of the diverse ways each of us approaches our work and engages with our teams. It is always refreshing for me to participate with members of WHPC and to hear from a variety of people about their challenges as well as their strategies for gaining a seat at the table.

I am always able to take away as much or more than I am able to give. Through the engagement itself as well as through self-reflection after these events, I come away with a refreshed perspective on how I can better lead and engage with my own team, ensuring that voices are heard, regardless of their own unique backgrounds.

In this video, ISC Diversity Chair Kim McMahon interviews Jessica Popp from DDN about the importance of fostering diversity in High Performance Computing.

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