Wednesday, August 19, 2009

How To Ask Your Manager If You Can Attend GHC: An Email Template

In 2008, Anna Krasnyanskaya, a Software Quality Assurance Specialist at Symantec, decided she wanted to go to the Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC). She put together an email marketing piece to send to her manager, explaining the benefits of going to GHC. We thank Anna for giving us permission to share her email. We also thank Anna, Jennifer El and Kitman McNeel for allowing us to post the slides they presented after the conference to share what they'd learned with their colleagues at Symantec. This is a great example of returning value to your organization!

To make this easy for you to use, we took out all Anna's work-specific references and created a fill-in-the-blank version. Remember to send these soon so you can also take advantage of our Early Bird Rate which ends August 31!


Hi (insert Manager's Name here),

The Grace Hopper Celebration is one of the largest gatherings of technical women in the world. The advisory committee includes women from HP, Amazon, Cisco, Google, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Sun, Symantec and of course (check your company's representation at the conference and insert your company name here). Women come together to learn about the latest technology, learn new skills to enhance their careers, and build their network.

My goal is to come back from GHC with more experience to be productive and innovative on the (insert your team name here) team. (Insert Your Company Name here)'s vision is that (Insert relevant company vision/mission/ etc that addresses learning or employees). At this conference, I will be fortunate to meet women who have done just that, they have become CEOs, Professors, Directors, Managers, and Authors through hard work and passion. I want to get inspired and do the same at (Insert Your Company Name here). If I can bring back just one valuable idea, the whole trip will be worth it.

For 4 days, I will be learning on how other companies are working to "Create Technology for Social Good." I will attend multiple panels, a variety of workshops, seminars, affinity group lunches, forums, poster board sessions, and interact with women from all areas of technological innovation. Upon returning to (Insert Your Company Name here), I will host an "Everything I have learned at GHC" presentation for my team and write an informative article in the (Insert Your Company Newsletter Name here) November Newsletter for distribution to a larger audience.

One of the many forums at the conference is focused on (Select a Track/Sessions that are relevant to your job). This includes some of the following presentations:

  • (Session 1 Name Here)
  • (Session 2 Name Here)
  • (Sesssion 3 Name Here)
There will also be talks on "Becoming a Person of Influence," "Communicating Powerfully Across Gender," "Developing Sustainable Technologies for an Improved Future," and "Technical Mentorship and Sponsorship: Why You Need It and How to Find It".

Additionally, there will be many posters sessions, including one on (Insert a relevant poster name here), and another on (Insert Relevant Poster Name Here).

With so much to offer, plus 3 meals a day included, as says it "GHC is a bargain. It's content you won't find anywhere else."

Thank you!

(Insert Your Name Here)


Mrs. H said...

Great letter. I asked my manager if I could go and he gave me permission to go, although none of my travel expenses will be paid for. Is there any sort of site or email list where women who have hotel rooms paid for would be willing to share a room? Thanks!

BJ Wishinsky said...

There are Rides & Roommates discussions in the GHC09 groups on both Facebook ( and LinkedIn ( Most of the roommate-matching activity has taken place on Facebook.

If you are a member of Systers ( or another of our email lists that's another place to look for a room share.

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