ACM-W: Supporting, celebrating, and advocating for Women in Computing
ACM-W advocates internationally for the full engagement of women in all aspects of the computing field, providing a wide range of programs and services to ACM members and working in the larger community to advance the contributions of technical women.
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Welcome from the Chair
After a three-year effort of eleven scientific organizations, the preliminary report A Global Approach to the Gender Gap in Mathematical, Computing and Natural Sciences is available. A major part of this project was a global survey of scientists. Analysis of survey responses produced several significant findings emphasizing that a gender gap continues to exist across all disciplines. These results include:
- Women were more likely to report receiving lower salaries compared to their colleagues, even after results were adjusted for explanatory factors such as age, discipline, geographic region, employment sectors, and level of human development in their region.
- Women were 1.6 times more likely than men to report interruptions in their graduate studies, a major factor impacting doctoral completion rates.
- Women were less likely to report positive relationships with their doctoral advisors and a lower doctoral program quality.
- Across all global regions, all disciplines, and all level of economic development, women were significantly more likely than men to report discrimination based on gender.
- Over 25% of women respondents across all the sciences reported personally having experienced sexual harassment at school or work. Women were also statistically more likely than men to say they had personally witnessed sexual harassment.
The news was not all bad, however, as an analysis of publication patterns in Mathematics, Physics, and Astronomy revealed that the proportion of scientific publications by women has increased steadily since 1995 and now sits at 85%-95% of all publications. Future related work hopes to include other disciplines in this analysis.
It is clear that the work that we do in ACM-W remains necessary and valuable in supporting women in computing globally. Celebrations and grad cohort events are shown to provide much needed inspiration for those who attend, while establishing student and professional chapters ensures a level of consistent, ongoing support for chapter members. I encourage those in regions where ACM-W activity is absent to reach out to me and I will connect you to those project leaders that can help you begin one of these activities.
For anyone planning to attend SIGCSE 2020, March 12th-14th in Portland, OR, you can find ACM-W at booth 619 in the exhibit hall. Stop by and one of our volunteers will be happy to talk with you about how you can be more involved in supporting, celebrating and advocating for women in computing through ACM-W.
Thanks for standing with us as we work to fulfill our mission.
Past ACM-W Chair
The core mission of ACM-W is to celebrate, inform, and support women in computing.
ACM-W members are welcome to host and join events such as Celebrations of Women in Computing. ACM-W also encourages its members nominate women for awards, including the Athena Award & Lecture and ACM Advanced Grade Membership.
Through ACM-W’s student scholarship program, women are informed about ongoing research and become acquainted with researchers in their field. Members of ACM-W Student Chapters gain exposure to educational and career opportunities.
Follow our newsletter and social media to stay updated on the latest ACM-W events and ways you can get involved. Lend your enthusiasm, inspiration, and support to ACM-W, and help make a difference in the global computing community.
We are very grateful for the support and generosity of our corporate sponsors. At present, ACM-W has funding from Oracle (through Oracle Academy), Microsoft Research, and Google for our scholarships, from Two Sigma for the Athena Lecturer Award, and continuing support from Microsoft Research for the celebrations and for community college-related activities.
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