ACM-W Connections – July 2017

Welcome from the ACM-W Chair

As we swing into summer mode, it might seem that there would be little to include in our monthly newsletter. But that is hardly the case. While Celebrations and Chapter activity is reduced during the summer months, there is much activity in the ACM-W volunteer camp as we look toward the next academic year.

ACM-W Council
The annual ACM-W Council meeting was held at ACM headquarters in New York City in June. One major piece of business was to welcome our newest Council members:

  • Reyyan Ayfer – Reyyan is not new to the Council as she has been the Chair of ACM-W Europe for the past few years. I am please, however, that she has accepted the invitation to serve as the new Vice Chair of ACM-W. Thank you, Reyyan!
  • Arati Dixit – Arati is the incoming Chair of ACM-W India. She has hit the ground running and has many exciting ideas that will increase the impact of our already active efforts throughout India.
  • Z Sweedyk – Z is the incoming Chair of the Chapters Committee. Like the others, Z is bringing her creativity and passion to the work of this major ACM-W project and I look forward to seeing continued growth of ACM-W Student Chapters and an increase in resources ACM-W supplies to help ensure chapter success.
  • Aruquia Peixoto – Aruquia first came to us as a representative of SIGGRAPH’s Women in Computer Graphics group. We seized the opportunity to include Aruquia as a full Council member, whose focus will be connecting ACM-W to SIGs and other technical groups for women in computing within and outside of ACM.
  • Priya Chawla – Priya joined the Council after last year’s annual meeting and has brought a lot of youthful energy to our group. Priya will assume the lead on Special Projects and provides a perspective from the industry professional point of view.

It is my great pleasure to work alongside these new Council members and those who are continuing in their roles. The Council generated a lengthy “to do” list for the coming year and it will be fun to watch our ideas take shape.

Congratulations, Valerie!
ACM-W Past Chair, Valerie Bar, was honored at the ACM Annual Awards Banquet as the recipient of the Outstanding Contribution to ACM Award. Valerie’s work in ACM-W along with her continued commitment to promoting ACM membership and her work in the establishment of an ACM Diversity & Inclusion Council (coming July, 2018) make her a worthy recipient of this honor.

Thank you, Microsoft!
Microsoft has once again stepped forward in a big way to provide support for the ACM Celebrations project. Their $77,000 donation will provide $3,000 of support for each conference and additional administrative costs. On behalf of the Celebrations Committee and Celebrations organizers worldwide, THANKS!

ACM Celebrations
This month’s edition includes a report from the inaugural Ukraine ACM Celebration of Women in Computing, which was held May 22, 2017 and organized by the ACM Ukrainian Chapter and the Department of Theory and Technology of Programming, Kyiv National Taras Schvchenko University. Congratulations to the organizers on your successful event.

There is also a call for registration of 2017-2018 Celebrations. If you need more information about starting a Celebration, please contact Wendy Powley ( and she will be happy to assist.

ACM-W Chapters
Incoming chair, Z Sweedyk, brings a greeting. You can also read about the first Best Officer Contest, which awards funding to attend an ACM Celebration or the Grace Hopper Celebration to the winners.

ACM-W Europe
The report from ACM-W Europe highlights several things including:

  • An announcement of womENcourage 2017, which will be held in Barcelona, Spain on September 6th-8th.
  • The work of HiPEAC in finding and keeping more women in computing.
  • The 2017-2018 slate of ACM Celebrations throughout Europe – a list that will undoubtedly grow!
  • Report from the 2nd INSPIRE Conference, held on May 12th and organized by the ACM-W UK Professional Chapter.

Women in Computability
ACM-W funds several projects throughout the year. This issue includes a report from the 11th Womein in Computability program, which we funded for the second year. ACM-W’s support enabled young researchers from across Europe to attend.

Volunteer Opportunity
If social media and supporting women in computing are your passions, ACM-W needs you! You can contact me via email ( to explore this opportunity to join our ever growing group of volunteers committed to supporting, celebrating and advocating for women in computing.

A final note
As has become our tradition, there will not be a newsletter during the month of August. However, watch your email for an announcement of the unveiling of our new and improved ACM-W website!

Thanks for standing with us as we work to fulfill our mission.

Jodi Tims
ACM-W Chair

Letter from Z Sweedyk — ACM-W Chapters chair

I’m honored to be taking over as chair of the ACM-W Chapters Committee. It is more than a little daunting to replace the amazing Gloria Townsend, whose vision and leadership over the last 17 years has played a huge role in making the ACM-W the success it is today. Thank you, Gloria! We will miss you.

I am also happy to report we have successfully concluded our first Best Officer Contest, thanks to the efforts of Shahnaz Kamberi. We had 16 remarkable nominees and in the end chose two winners, Sarah Fillwock, Vice-President of the ACM-WIC at Michigan Statue University and Mahum Tariq, Vice-Chair of the Nust Chapter, Nust School of Engineering and Computer Science Islamabad, Pakistan. Both candidates demonstrated outstanding service to their chapters. Each winner will receive up to $2,000 in funds to attend a Celebration of Women in Computing or the Grace Hopper Celebration. Congratulations Mahum and Sarah!

News From ACM-W Celebrations

ACM Celebrations of Women in Computing in Europe

The number of celebrations are growing every year. From July 1 2016 to June 30 2017 26 ACM Celebrations of Women in Computing took place worldwide and 9 of these were in Europe:

  • Spain: Valencia, July 1, 2016
  • Cyprus: womenpower November 16, 2016
  • Russia: Perm, RusWIC March 1-3, 2017
  • Turkey: Ankara, ACWiC March 11-12, 2017
  • Serbia: Belgrade April 25-26, 2017
  • Spain: Mallorca May 5, 2017
  • Azerbaijan: Baku, April 15, 2017
  • UK: Hertfordshire, May 12
  • Ukraine: Kyiv, May 20-22, 2017

Thanks to all volunteers who gave their time and effort to organize these amazing events. We are hoping that this number will grow in the coming year.

Ukraine ACM Celebration of Women in Computing

On May 22nd, 2017 the inaugural Ukraine ACM Celebration of Women in Computing took place. This event was organized by the ACM Ukrainian Chapter and Department of Theory and Technology of Programming, Kyiv National Taras Shevchenko University.

The event began with a weekend-long Hackathon. On Monday morning a poster session was held and participants were judged for the Best Student’s Project and the Best Student’s Scientific Work competitions.

Prominent invited speakers included Vladyslava Rutytska who is the senator of Economic senate of the European Parliament, a member of HR Committee of EBA and a graduate of the Faculty of Computer Science and Cybernetics. She told the audience a story of her success as she is in the top 15 women-leaders of agro-business. Co-founder of Be Sure Healthcare B. V. and Ukrainian healthcare TPA Olga Chumakova gladly shared her experience and advice and provided insights as to how she made it into the InspiringFifty 2017 in the Netherlands.

The wonderful evening concluded with a quiz dedicated to historical technical women, an awards ceremony, and a performance by the talented musician and composer Mike Kaufman-Portnikov and his virtuoso playing the piano.

2nd INSPIRE Conference 2017: Identity, Impact and Voice — ACM Celebration of Women in Computing

On 12th May 2017, ACM-W UK professional chapter organised the 2nd “INSPIRE Conference – Identity, Impact and Voice” in collaboration with ACM student chapter at University of Hertfordshire. The conference was attended by nearly 50 university students and academics from all over the UK. The aim of the conference is to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in STEM employment and research in Higher Education. This one-day conference provided a gateway to hear from world-leading speakers from academia and industries, showcase good practice, learn new skills and form networks of like-minded colleagues.

In addition to talks delivered by prestigious speakers like Professor Cecilia Mascolo – (Professor of Mobile Systems, Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge), Professor Ruth Aylett (Professor of Computer Science, Heriot-Watt University), Gen Ashley (Director of Women Who Code, Lead at Google WomenTechMakers London), there were multiple student presentations and panel discussion on the topic of “Negotiating Identity”.

The event was a great success as evident from the stupendous feedback. When participants were asked about what they liked about the event, the unanimous choice were the inspiring talks by the keynote speakers and the panel discussion. Snippets of some very favourable comments are:
“All the speakers were very approachable!”
“The talks were inspiring!”
“The range of speakers and how they engaged students was outstanding!”
“The speakers were interesting and have made me think about doing things differently.”
“I could relate to Ruth’s cycle of perfectionism, it’s like being on a hamster wheel and going round and round and getting nowhere fast. I am inspired to get off and say no, my best is good enough!”

For a more detailed report and pictures, please visit the blog link here.

Organizing Celebrations

If you are considering organizing a Celebration in the coming year, it is now time to register your event by filling out this registration form. ACM-W provides financial support, handles finances, hosts websites and more! For more information, contact Wendy Powley (, Chair of the Celebrations Committee.


  • 11th Women in Computability ProgramFor the second year in a row, ACM-W provided support for the 11th Women in Computability program which was organized during the annual Computability in Europe (CiE) conference, held from 12 June to 16 June 2017 in Turku, Finland. This program has been run by the Computability in Europe Association since 2007 and this year included a workshop, dinner, a mentoring program, and a granting scheme for young female researchers.

    Women in Computability provided travel grants to six young female researchers from across Europe. Many of these were then assigned a mentor as part of the mentoring program. At the workshop several senior women talked about their careers as well as personal experiences. While the focus is on women in the field, the workshop and discussions are open to all CiE participants, giving women and men an opportunity to engage in discussion.

  • Celebrating Accomplishments of ACM WomenEach year ACM recognizes outstanding achievements of its members through awards that cover a spectrum of professional and technological areas and different stages of professional development.
    Following the mission of ACM-W to foster women participation in the field of computing, ACM-W invites the community to welcome and recognize accomplishments of ACM Women who made significant contributions through their technical and professional excellence. Advanced Grades of Membership Deadlines:

    • ACM Fellow – September 7, 2017
    • Distinguished Members – August 1, 2017
    • Senior Members – September 3, 2017
  • Would you like to contribute an article to the ACM-W Newsletter?
    With a distribution list reaching thousands of ACM-W members, contributing to the newsletter is a wonderful opportunity to share ideas and information across a wide audience. Submit a proposal for an article