A kaleidoscope of celebrations across the globe 

In recent months, ACM Women across the globe have been celebrating women’s achievements in their respective regions: North America (ACMW-NA), Europe (ACM WE)  and ACM-W India. In this blog article, we share with you an overview and invite you to join them next time!

North America

In March, Lindsay Jamieson, Linxi Zhang, Naaz Sibia and Angela Zavaleta from ACMW-NA, ran a booth for ACM-W at the SIGCSE conference in Portland Oregon in March 2024 (see Figure 1).

Fig. 1: ACM-W booth at SIGCSE 2024

ACM Women’s presence is always well received in high-profile events by the ACM such as this one, and thus we are confident that more of this type of activities will take place on conferences across all subdisciplines in computing with the support of SIGs and ACM-W.  Why don’t you reach out to us if you would like ACM-W to be present in one of your conferences?

Chapter-centred activities are also expected to continue to proliferate, such as the in-person activities led by the ACM-W chapters at Boston University, Madison University, and Oregon State University (Figures 2-4), as well as a number of virtual events (such as the Sierra QA, in Figure 5).

Fig. 2: Boston University ACM-W
Fig. 3: Madison University ACM-W
Fig. 4: ACM-W booth at SIGCSE 2024
 Fig. 5: Sierra QA

Europe

Meanwhile, the ACM WE Communications Chair, Alexandra Patrascu shared the Women’s Talk Marathon (Frauenvortragmarathon) at the Christian Albrecht University (CAU) in Kiel to mark International Women’s Day (Figures 6 and 7). This event was organised by Kiel ACM-W Professional Chapter Chair Pamela Fleischmann, Vice Chair Annika Huch and Executive Committee Member Ina Pfannschmidt, and it was their first ACM Celebration of Women in Computing,  featuring 49 talks over 20 hours in three tracks. Women scientists, researchers, and students shared insights into their work and studies, attracting a diverse and engaged audience.

Prof. Dr. Catherine Cleophas, vice president for Digital Transformation, Equality, and Diversity, opened the event by sharing career experiences and stressing the importance of perseverance and role models. Talks from 15 institutes, university administration areas, and the university hospital covered a wide range of topics. Marit Hansen, State Data Protection Commissioner of Schleswig-Holstein, discussed Feminist Data Protection, addressing issues like technical abuse and menstruation tracking apps. The event also featured a café for networking among participants, visitors, and speakers. A notable success story involved a young researcher who transitioned from considering work in a bakery to pursuing a PhD, illustrating the importance of encouragement and networking. The event ended with a presentation from the Lighthouse Project. Anticipation is high for the 2025 edition, with plans for partner events at the University of Helsinki and the University of Lübeck, reinforcing the importance of celebrating women’s achievements in computing.

 Fig. 6: Christian-Albrechts-Universitat zu Kiels Frauenvortragmarathon
Fig. 6 Pamela Fleischmann and the organising team at the Women’s Talk Marathon in Kiel
Fig.7: Symbols of inclusivity at the Women’s Talk Marathon (https://www.frauenvortragsmarathon.uni-kiel.de)

India

ACM-W India annually hosts the Lady Ada Programming Contest for undergraduate and master’s level female students. This contest provides a platform for developing and showcasing coding talent among novice women in India, encouraging them to explore, enhance, and expand their skills, and empowering female tech talent across the country.

This year, the competition had three stages, with the first two rounds held online, allowing a wide participation across the country. The top ten performers were then invited to an in-person final round at the Pune Institute of Computer Technology on 23rd February 2024 (Figures 8 and 9). To encourage participation, ACM-W India provided travel grants and free accommodation for the finalists. The final round was hosted and run by the PICT ACM-W Student Chapter. 

The top three scorers, Anushka Allawadi, Ananya Bangera, and Arefa (Figure 10) received cash prizes and trophies, celebrating and motivating their exceptional talent and dedication.

Fig.8: Finalists of the Lady Ada Programming Contest, organised by the PICT ACM-W Student Chapter in India
Fig.9: Finalists of the Lady Ada Programming Contest, organised by the PICT ACM-W Student Chapter in India
Fig.10: Top performers at the Lady Ada Programming Contest, organised by the PICT ACM-W Student Chapter in India

ACM-W Celebrates Women in Computing

Next day from this event, on the 24 February, the All India Celebration for Women in Computing (AICWiC 2024) took place, also at the Pune Institute of Computer Technology.  This is an annual community-building conference dedicated to increase the participation, retention, and advancement of women in computing. 

Fig.11: Panel at the All India Celebration of Women Computing (AICWiC 2024) in Pune Institute of Computer Technology (PICT), in India
Fig.12: Closing the All India Celebration of Women Computing (AICWiC 2024) in Pune Institute of Computer Technology (PICT), in India
Fig.13: Participants at the All India Celebration of Women Computing (AICWiC 2024) in Pune Institute of Computer Technology (PICT), in India

The program facilitated connection and knowledge-sharing through keynote speeches, panel discussions, and networking opportunities. The event began with a traditional lamp-lighting ceremony followed by the keynote addresses: Anibha Athlaye’s talk, on “GEN-AI,” sparked interest, while Merlyn Mathew’s presentation offered inspiration. A panel discussion, “Build Your Own Brand”, with Sonia Garcha, Sushma Joshi, and Geetanjali Kale, left a lasting impact on the audience (Figure 11). Rutvi Shah, Chair of ACM-W India, then highlighted the challenges and opportunities for women in STEM fields, providing valuable context on the evolving landscape. The event concluded with a closing address by Heena Timani, who emphasized the importance of mentorship and introduced the Buddy Project to foster a supportive community among attendees.

AICWiC 2024 fostered a sense of belonging among participants (Figure 12). Attendees left inspired and equipped with new perspectives. The collective energy and enthusiasm underscored the importance of such gatherings in creating a positive and empowering environment for women in computing.

While these activities reported by the various regions have taken place independently, they are a sample and reflection of a common mission to celebrate and advance women’s achievements in computing. Each region’s unique approach, shaped by local contexts and traditions, enriches the overall impact of ACM Women.  It is through varied local interpretations of our shared vision, that these regions materialise the drive to continue to inspire and empower women, for greater inclusivity and excellence in computing. 

Do you want to add to this ever-changing, colourful kaleidoscope of celebrations? Get in touch! 

Get Ready for womENcourage™ 2023: Europe Gears Up to Celebrate Women in Computing

A poster session at ACM-W Encourage

The 10th ACM Celebration of Women in Computing: womENcourage™ 2023 will be hosted by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim, Norway, 20-22 September 2023.
This year’s theme is Computing Connecting Everyone. Computing is a powerful way to connect people with diverse backgrounds, ambitions, passions, personalities, and cultures, from academia and industry, in a creative, re-connected world after the pandemic.
Open to all genders, womENcourage™ was initiated by ACM-W Europe and is aimed at connecting women from diverse technical disciplines and encouraging them to pursue their education and profession in computing. WomENcourage™ brings together women in the computing profession and related technical fields to exchange knowledge and experience and provide special support for women who are pursuing their academic degrees and starting their careers in computing. Through a program packed with insightful topics and engaging educational and networking activities, womENcourage™ provides a unique experience of the collective energy, drive, and excellence that professional women share to support each other.

Spotlight on Keynote Speakers:

The celebration will feature keynote addresses from notable speakers:

  • Prof. Athena Vakali is from the School of Informatics at Aristotle University in Greece. With her insights into “Quantified Self and Sensing Data Analytics,” Prof. Vakali will unveil the untapped opportunities of quantified self and sensing data analytics, focusing on a human-centric positive behavior change technology.
  • Prof. Alexander Serebrenik hails from Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands. His talk on “Gender and Software Development” will present an overview of his research on diversity and inclusion in software engineering, focusing on gender diversity.
  • Mariel Evelyn Markussen Ellingsen is an exemplar of transforming passion into action. The founder and CEO of her startup, Woid, will share her journey from a Master’s in Computer Science to creating a technology that could be helpful to people using hearing aids.

A Glimpse into the Event:

Each year, the celebration runs a diverse array of activities: lively poster sessions, thought-provoking workshops and tutorials, and a hackathon. This year’s theme is Social sustainability through integration and inclusion – addressing future challenges in CS, following the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The hackathon will focus on societal problems and issues that are causes of inequality and discrepancies between different communities.

As we approach womENcourage™ 2023, the anticipation grows for the insightful discussions, knowledge sharing, and connections that will unfold during the event. Stay tuned for updates on the enriching experiences and valuable insights that will emerge.

Indo European ACM Celebration of Women in Computing

The first Indo-European ACM Celebration of Women in Computing: A Decade Celebration was virtually held on June 22, 2023.  ACM-W Global Chair Ruth Lennon welcomed the participants with her inspiring speech;  ACM-W India Chair Heena Timani and ACM-W Europe Chair Rukiye Altin, followed by giving an overview of activities carried out in their respective regions.

The event held two panels. In the first panel, ACM-W India Treasurer Rutvi Shah chaired, and the panellists shared their ACM-W chapter experiences. The panellists included ACM Women Trondheim Vice Chair Anna Szlavi, who is also a postdoctoral researcher at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). Anna also talked about womENcourageTM, which will be hosted at NTNU in September. Elif Şen, who is ACM Bilkent (Turkey) Chair, talked about her experiences at Bilkent University, Turkey and how an ACM chapter can inspire women in other fields. Dr Geetanjali Kale, who is the Chair of ACM-W Pune Professional Chapter (India), inspired listeners with her words “Collaboration is a key to success” and encouraged all to collaborate more. Shreya Sharma, Chair of the ACM-W chapter at ABESEC (India) and Shagun Kesarwani, Secretary of the ACM-W chapter at ABESEC (India), shared their journey through ACM-W.

The second panel of the event was chaired by Dorota Filipczuk who is ACM-W Europe Vice Chair. The guests on the panel were the founders of both regions. Reyyan Ayfer, founder of ACM-W Europe and Arati Dixit, founder of ACM-W India, told us how the idea of starting regional ACM-W became alive.

We thank them for their selfless work in supporting, celebrating, and advocating globally for the engagement of women in all aspects of the computing field. We are looking forward to many more joint celebrations.

Spotlight on Trondheim ACM-W Professional Chapter

Dr. Letizia Jaccheri

ACM-W would like to spotlight the Trondheim ACM-W Professional Chapter this month through an interview with Dr. Letizia Jaccheri. Dr. Jaccheri is a Professor at the Department of Computer Science at Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and the General Co-chair of WomenENcourage 2023.

Why did you decide to form an ACM-W Professional Chapter?

One researcher, who was working as postdoc at my university in 2019, challenged me to start the chapter. She is Zacharoula Papamitsiou now working at SINTEF (https://www.sintef.no/alle-ansatte/ansatt/xara.papamitsiou/) Zacharoula knew the work of the Greek chapter and suggested we should start here. The Trondheim ACM-W Professional Chapter was chartered in 2019.

What strengths does your chapter have?

Our strength is that Norway is the country in Europe which is doing best when it comes to increase number of female students in computing. A recent report by Informatics Europe supports this statement. At our university we have the ADA project, running since 1997 which has been a pioneer and very successful project.

https://www.informatics-europe.org/news/658-informatics-higher-education-data-portal-statistics-2019-20.html 

Where do you see your chapter five years from now?

When I started to focus on gender and computing not only for students but in the pipeline from PhD to professor, I was alone. Now we are a team of people and I see that in 5 years we will be 5 times as many.

Part of the chapter team, who traveled together to Cyprus for the ACM womENcourage. They also proposed the Trondheim conference 2023.

What projects are you working on?

  1. IDUN (https://www.ntnu.edu/idun) This project received 1M Euro funding and the central measure in this project was the employment of nine female adjunct professors, at least one at each of the seven institutes of the faculty. IDUN provided training for these professors to become role models and mentors for 3-5 mentees each.
Dr. Letizia Jaccheri presenting IDUN

Several smaller projects that led to IDUN:

  1. Several iterations of Kodeløypa (https://www.ntnu.no/skolelab/kodeloypa) programming for children. More than 100 children participate to the workshop each year since 2015. E.g.,  
    Papavlasopoulou, S., Giannakos, M. N., & Jaccheri, L. (2019). Exploring children’s learning experience in constructionism-based coding activities through design-based research. Computers in Human Behavior99, 415-427.
  2. EUGAIN CA19122 (https://eugain.eu/) with 150 participants.
  3. Craft (https://www.ntnu.edu/smartcities/craft) – which is about inclusion and climate change.
  4. SENOBR (https://www.ntnu.edu/idi/senobr) – which is about software engineering with activities about intersectionality.
  5. Women Stem Up (https://women-stem-up.eu) – which is about gender inclusion in STEM education

What connections do you have with university students? What activities do you do? What connections do you have with K-12 students? What activities do you do?

We have connections with the ADA project (https://www.ntnu.edu/ada) and we also supervise master students who do research about gender and computing – see several examples here: https://sbs.idi.ntnu.no/master.

What involvement do you have with ACM-W Celebrations near you?

Dr Jaccheri presenting ACM activities to the students and employees together with a student Alis Wiken Wilson (now working in IT industry)

We will organize WomenENcourage in 2023. We have participated in WomenENcourage 2022 and in 2021 we organized a local physical event when it was virtual from Praha.

What benefits do the members of your chapter gain from your connections?

— We connect students to research and we share our industry partners.

— Our events are also open to students. We are present to the annual event that the department organizes for students.

— We are attracting sponsors for our ACM WomENcourage 2023 (https://womencourage.acm.org/2023/)

Do you have any suggestions or feedback for groups looking to start a chapter?

My suggestion is to start and to look at other successful chapters. For example we started by looking at the Greek chapter, as mentioned in the beginning. Another suggestion is that, when dealing with volunteering work like this, you should always remember to thank the people who help and are engaged and you try to inspire people. You should look for your successor from the beginning. I am so happy that Alicia Julia Wilson Takaoka is taking over. It is called ACM-Women Trondheim Chapter not Letizia’s chapter.

ACM-W Professional Chapters empower local voices for change with the backing of a worldwide organisation. Professional chapters work with student chapters and industry leaders to advocate for equity and diversity in the tech industry. Our chapters worldwide organize conferences, hack-a-thons, fundraisers, lecture series, community service, and networking events that gather together local students and IT professionals. To learn more about these activities, please stay tuned to more interviews with ACM-W chapter leaders throughout the year! For more information about ACM-W Professional Chapters, contact the Chair of ACM-W Global Professional Chapters, Rachelle Kristof Hippler (rhippler@bw.edu).

Ohio Celebration of Women in Conference (OCWiC) 2023!

It’s a wrap! The Ohio Celebration of Women in Computing (OCWiC) occurred on February 24th & 25th, 2023, at Sawmill Creek Resort in Huron, Ohio. Except for 2021, due to the pandemic, this celebration has occurred every odd year since its inception in 2005. The event was organized by Ohio’s ACM-W OCWIC Professional Chapter and is modeled after the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing.

OCWIC ‘23 welcomed 235 women and men representing 43 universities and tech companies across Ohio this year. Female college students studying computing-related fields such as software engineering,  computer science, cyber security, and data science (168, 71%) and industry and academic professionals in IT (58, 25%) shared their experiences and expertise in tech.  

The event was made possible due to the generous support of academic and industry sponsors. The funds raised offered all student attendees a free scholarship to attend the event. This $285 scholarship covered event registration, hotel accommodations, and meals. Sponsors included 17 colleges and universities across Ohio, nine industry sponsors, and ACM-W Global. The complete list of sponsors can be found here: https://ocwic23.ocwic.org/sponsor-list/

At the conference

The OCWiC 2023 program included two keynote presentations.  The first, was from Bettina Bair, the Founder of OCWiC and current Global ACM-W Communications Chair. The presentation, “Fork() theRules ”  included a recap of Bettina’s career and encouraged the audience to Fork(), i.e. find their own path forward even if it looks a little different than everyone else’s path.  Check out Bettina’s “Fork the Rules” articles published on LinkedIn.

The second keynote was given by Lisa Pierson, the Global Head of DevOps, Build for Aon and the OCWiC 2023 planning committee’s Program Chair. Lisa shared her career journey and covered how she evaluated whether a company was a good fit for her ideal work environment or not. She also shared insights regarding her remote work experience and how others can be successful working remotely.

Both keynote presenters highlighted the benefits of community, supporting one another, and being true to what does or does not work for you in a workplace environment.

New this year was the Leadership Summit held prior to the start of the conference for our ACM-W and ACM student chapter leaders. Over 50 student leaders gathered to share leadership challenges and ideas for activities.  They also learned about Kouzes & Posner’s Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership, practiced talking about their leadership experiences during an interview using the STAR method, and networked with professionals in the IT industry.

In addition to the Keynote Speakers and Leadership Summit, the OCWIC ‘23 program consisted of student research poster presentations, student-lead talks regarding techniques they have learned or a deeper dive into their research, technology-focused workshops, career preparation tips (including a resume review workshop and career and opportunity fair), and Q&A with panelists from academia and industry. The full program can be found here: https://ocwic23.ocwic.org/program

Looking ahead

In addition to the OCWiC celebrations every odd year, the OCWiC ACM-W chapter will be kicking off new speaker series that will take place between the celebrations. The events will primarily be virtual and are intended to connect women across Ohio, including students, professionals from academia, and professionals from the computing industry. 

The next celebration will take place in February 2025. We will celebrate 20 years of OCWIC, so you will not want to miss this one.  Events will be communicated through our mailing list, so be sure to sign-up here: https://ocwic.org/

ACM-W India Decade Celebration

Theme: Women in Computer Science Research

ACM W India celebrated its 10th anniversary with a special decade celebration on February 10th, 2023, at the Oriental Institute of Science and Technology, Bhopal.

ACM-W India Decade Celebration was dedicated to sharing knowledge, wisdom, expertise and information. The event started with a welcome address by Dr Hina Timani (ACM–W India Chair, Co-Founder and Director, iAnanya Datalytix Pvt. Ltd.), followed by the first keynote Talk by OCCW Award Winner, Dr Shweta Agrawal (ACM India Outstanding Contributions in Computing by a Woman for 2022) Associate Professor, IIT Madras, on “Cryptography: The Jugalbandi (duet) of structure and randomness”. 

ACM W India celebrated its 10th anniversary with a special decade celebration on February 10th, 2023, at the Oriental Institute of Science and Technology, Bhopal.

The Panel Discussion on “Diversity, Equity And Inclusion – The journey till now and the way forward” was moderated by Dr Renuka Sindhgatta (IBM Research India). The panel consisted of Prof. Gabrielle Kotsis (Austrian Computer Scientist and Past ACM President), Dr Varsha Apte (Professor, IIT Bombay), Dr Hema Murthy (Professor, IIT Madras), Dr Tullika Mishra (Professor, National University of Singapore) and Prof. Meena Mahajan (Professor, HBNI Chennai). 

The second keynote talk was on “AI for Social Good: Case study and reflections” by Ms Tanuja Ganu (Principal Research, SDE Manager), and the third keynote was on “Adventure of AI: Deepfake and Bias” by Dr Richa Singh (Professor, IIT Jodhpur) respectively.

To conclude, a video message on Women in Tech by Dr Geetha Manjunath (Founder, CEO and CTO of NIRAMAI Health Analytix) was shown. 

The event was witnessed by 150+ participants, including students, academics and professionals from various universities and corporates pan India. The day-long colloquium was a success both in terms of dissemination of knowledge as well as creating a platform for networking and mentoring opportunities for women in tech.

Latina Computing Professionals Panel at Tapia 2022!

by Adriana Alvarado Garcia, Karla Badillo-Urquiola, Brianna Posadas, Wendy Roldan

Latina women, historically underrepresented in computing [1], face additional challenges starting their careers. To bring awareness to this issue, we organized the panel “Becoming a Latina Computing Professional: Barriers and Accomplishments” for the 2022 Tapia Conference. We enjoyed reconnecting at Tapia and sharing our lived experiences with current Latinas navigating the job market and the recruiters of future generations of computing professionals. Based on our conversations and collective reflections, we summarize three key takeaways: 

Job Searching as an Interdisciplinary Scholar Takes Persistence 

A key theme in our conversations was navigating the job market as interdisciplinary scholars. Wendy shared how her research on children and families, equity, and design education positioned her well to interview for academic, non-profit, and industry roles, but it also came at a tradeoff. Brianna shared her experience positioning her work in a new space like agriculture. Being on the job market as an interdisciplinary scholar can be tricky, as the candidate can be “too much” or “not enough” of one discipline depending on the institution. It also makes the job search longer, as finding an institution that appreciates and supports an interdisciplinary research agenda takes more discussion and negotiation.   

Career Choices are Informed by Personal Values and Virtues

Navigating the job market during COVID-19 helped illuminate the importance of centering our values and the kind of life we wanted to live. For example, managing the dissertation and the academic job market simultaneously contributed to Karla’s stress-induced illness. She had to prioritize her health and family when choosing the right department. Likewise, when comparing her job options, Wendy faced the challenging position of letting go of her dream to become a professor. Instead, she prioritized her happiness and lifestyle. Growing up in Mexico City, one of the largest cities in the world, Adriana prioritized large cities over small towns.

Community is the Key to Success 

Our stories demonstrated how critical it is to have a strong support system to learn about the “hidden curriculum” of the job search. We all built a network of peers and mentors who share our identities in the Human-Computer Interaction and Computer Science fields by attending mentoring events such as the CHI-Mentoring workshop (organized since 2010). In addition, the Tapia conference is a prime resource for connecting with other Latino computer scientists. Our mentors advised us through our job search, educated us on the unspoken rules of interviewing, and served as sounding boards as we debated offers. We also asked them questions about aspects of the position that were important to us, but not always covered by recruiters: Is there a strong Latino community? Is there a Spanish-speaking Catholic church? Is there support for spousal hires?

We call on the computing community to create supportive spaces for the underrepresented and to promote transparency in the process of recruiting for academia, industry, and other career paths. We look forward to continuing these discussions in more spaces for other Latina computing professionals to share. We thank Dr. Manuel Perez Quiñones for being our strong ally.  

[1] https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/women/

The 4th Summit on Gender Equality in Computing (GEC’22)

by Alexia Giouroukou

The 4th Summit on Gender Equality in Computing (GEC’22) took place in Thessaloniki on June 16th -17th, 2022. GEC’22 summit was opened with the welcome talks from Efstratios Stylianidis (Vice-Rector for Research and Lifelong Learning of Aristotle University in Thessaloniki) and Panagiota Fatourou (chair of the Greek ACM-W Chapter). The first keynote speaker, Dr Alexandros Triantafyllidis (Professor at the School of Biology AUTh), shared uplifting messages of solidarity and social responsibility to support at-risk researchers based on his involvement in Inspireurope, a Horizon Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action.

The summit continued with the very interesting workshop entitled “Act Together – The Role of H2020 Projects and EU Initiatives & Their Impact on Gender Equality in STEM”, organized and implemented by the EU H2020 programme, so-called “Sister Projects”, with the main subject the presentation of the impact of each EU project on the EU gender equality targets and the settings in which they are addressed. The project’s aim is to form a strong and sharing society by changing the stereotypes and giving equal opportunities.



During the first-day poster session, intriguing flash talks were given by undergraduate, graduate and PhD students, as well as young researchers and professionals of any gender, to disseminate their research work and discuss their ideas with the other GEC participants. The day concluded with a keynote talk and an inspiring discussion with Dr Marily Nika (AR Product Lead at Google and a Fellow at Harvard Business School), who provided a perspective on being a woman in tech and shared her lessons learnt on leveraging AI towards creating value.

The Dean of the Faculty of Sciences of Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, Prof. Hara Charalambous, opened the curtain of the second day with an inspiring welcome talk. The keynote talk by Prof. Evimaria Terzi (Professor of Computer Science at Boston University) covered and discussed various approaches to creating the “best” team and the open problems in this emerging area with a vibrant Q&A with the audience.

The industrial panel entitled “Career Pathways & Opportunities in Computing” revealed a more sensitive and personal aspect of the event, as it gave the opportunity to acclaimed employees from Pfizer, Accenture, Vodafone, Deloitte Greece and Netcompany-Intrasoft, to share their experiences in the marketplace, how they overcome the
obstacles and difficulties and give valuable advice to younger employees.



The young researchers continued to share their work and innovative ideas and findings during the second poster session. Following the poster session, Dr Antonia Gogoglou (Machine Learning Software Engineer for Meta/Facebook in the USA), gave a very personal keynote speech, where she shared her experiences in both academia and industry as a woman in tech, talked about her personal views on gender equality in the field of Computer Science and the emerging challenges the field faces.

Then it was time for creative and playful experiences! We had the honour to host Dr Hanne-Louise Johannesen (CEO and Co-founder of Diffus Design), who organized an exciting and interactive workshop. Altogether, a visual matrix representing core aspects of GEC’22 was created. The matrix contained combinatory understandings of different technological terms (e.g., AI, ML, HHI, HCI) and key topics (e.g., gender, ethics, community, equality), while the outcome was fascinating.

The workshop “Becoming Better Together – Learning Through Mentoring”, was organized by Prof. Geraldine Fitzpatrick (Professor of Technology Design and Assessment and header of the Human-Computer Interaction Group in the Informatics Faculty at TU Wien Austria) and Prof. Panagiota Fatourou (Université Paris Cité, France & University of Crete and FORTH, Greece). The workshop aimed to inspire a culture of mutual support where Greek academic women, students and young researchers identify and promote each other’s talents and achievements, recognize their strengths and investigate the potential of contributing as mentors to younger peers.



Last but not least, Amalia-Michaela Sotiropoulou (Resourcing Consultant of Vodafone), was excited to present Vodafone’s journey from Telco to Techco and its youth opportunities for employment.

During the 2-day event, five of GEC’22 sponsors (Accenture, Deloitte Greece, Netcompany-Intrasoft, Pfizer and Vodafone) were present in the exhibition/posters area, willing to develop fruitful discussions about their companies’ opportunities with young, promising researchers, while at the same time networking with all the summit’s participants.

The entire event has been recorded and is made available on the Greek ACM-W Chapter’s YouTube channel.
GEC’22 would like to thank its supporters and sponsors, all who contributed to making this event so successful, and of course, its attendees for their participation and enthusiasm!

1st Greek ACM-W Chapter Winter School on Fairness in AI

Starting this year, the Greek ACM-W Chapter, with the support of the ACM Europe Research Visibility working group (ACM Europe RAISE), organizes a series of annual winter schools, on timely computer science related topics. The main goal of the school is to offer the opportunity to young computer science professionals to learn, interact and make a difference.

The inaugural edition of the Greek ACM-W Chapter Winter School (GECSW22) took place online on February 24-25, 2022. Living the revolution of AI, with issues of biased treatments, exclusion, and unfairness being raised, the topic could not be anything else than “Fairness in AI”. Participation was free but limited to facilitate interactions. After the selection process, more than 60 participants from more than 20 countries had the opportunity to be part of the
GECSW22.

Introduction to GECSW22


Top scientists from around the world presented their exciting work on the topic in the two-day event. Participants learned, through scientific talks and tutorials, the fundamental theory behind algorithmic fairness, the state-of-the-art in ranking, recommendations, web search, online markets, computer vision & some software tools. Also, they understood the need for a broader, multidisciplinary treatment including police, education, legal, philosophical and societal views.

2 Full Days of Activities

For a more engaging and interactive virtual school, participants were divided into working groups. Each working group (7 people) had to complete a small task (see image). At the end of the conference, the participants presented their work and voted for the best presentation.

Working Group Assignment

The entire event was live-streamed with the help of people from Athena Research Center and has been recorded on the Greek ACM-W Chapter’s YouTube channel. (Respecting the personal data of the students, their presentations have not been recorded)

The full program of the event is still available on the official website of GECSW22.

GECSW22 Agenda

GECSW22 would like to thank its supporters and sponsors, all who contributed to make this event so successful, and of course its attendees for their participation and enthusiasm! Until the next GECSW, see you at the 4th Summit on Gender Equality in Computing by the Greek ACM-W Chapter!

News from Africa

Submitted by Abigail Oppong, Ashesi University ACM-W Student Chapter, Ghana
Edited by Jennifer Goodall, ACM-W Connections Newsletter Editor

Over the years, the ACM-W Community has been very instrumental in having the activities of ACM-W in Africa. Diversity and Inclusion is key to ACM-W as we see some. Currently, there are about 18 ACM chapters from Africa with about five ACM-W student chapters from Nigeria, Malawi, Ghana, and Ethiopia. The ACM-W community is working to help build more chapters across the continent.

The chapters have been very active in organizing activities that will help serve members. Webinars were organized to have women working in the industry share their knowledge and experiences. The webinar aims to help the students connect school studies to the outside world. There are many other more webinars to come this year.

Student-Led Community Initiatives

The students have been engaged in impactful community works to help the younger generation have more interest in STEM. The ACM-W chapter from Ashesi University embarked on a community-led initiative by engaging senior high school students on STEM related programs. The program started with an online science show from CERN, which presented different science experiments to help the high school students understand the theory they learn in school. They ended with a career talk in STEM related fields and in computing.

International Sign Language Day

During the celebration of the international Sign Language day, members from Ashesi University joined the sign language club to show the impact of technology in sign language. They educated the community of sign language processing and machine learning.

AfricaCWIC 2022

The 1st Annual ACM Celebration of Women in Computing in Africa: AfricaCWIC 2022 conference is just right the corner. The event will be hosted virtually in Africa. The event includes a Hackathon, Workshops, Posters, Technical Talks and Panel Discussions, and is sure to have something for everyone. Visit the website at https://africacwic.acm.org/2022/ Do you also want to be a proud sponsor of this event, kindly check poster and website for more details.

Finally, the ACM-W community is working hard to get the ACM-W Africa committee established as we believe in diversity and inclusion. The need to help increase the number of ACM-W student chapters and professional chapter is essential.

Anyone interested in joining to make an impact in Africa is welcomed.

5 Reasons to Join Us at womENcourage 2021

womENcourageTM 2021 that is going to be virtual (coordinated from Prague, Czech Republic), 22-24 September, 2021.The slogan of this year’s event is “Bridging Communities to Foster Innovation”. In an increasingly technology-driven world and a rapidly changing economic environment, the field of computing cannot reach its full innovation and creativity potential if formed of homogeneous expertise, represented unevenly only by a fraction of the population. To foster innovation, we shall stop compartmentalising scientific progress by disciplines and encourage innovation across boundaries.

Here are 5 reasons to join us at the womENcourage 2021 this year:

  1. For inspiration and connection: Continue building the future of opportunity. Get inspired by the leading figures in computing, many of which are women. Inspire others and make connections. Find your voice among a diverse community of early-career to mid-career or transition to new directions (retired / returning) colleagues. Pave the way for cooperation by meeting and connecting with like-minded individuals and top minds in your field.
  2. For challenge and validation: Challenges are important parts of life that shape us. Learn to understand the value of your ideas and push them from the drawing board into reality. Continue growing your self – esteem and appreciating the ideas you bring to the table.
  3. For encouragement and support: We all have faced struggles and obstacles and, at one point or another, have not always seen the best in ourselves. If you feel like you could use a bit of help from others in your area of expertise, this is a conference for you. After all, #womENcourage embeds the support in the title itself.
  4. For purpose: Research/poster sessions that represent the social impact on challenges facing our communities and the world. Join or start projects that might bring breakthrough progress to our society.
  5. For opportunity: Women in computing across sectors are making change real and possible across a changing business, policy, and cultural landscape. From employment to partnerships to investment, learn what’s happening around the world and how you can grow opportunities for yourself, your company, and your networks.

Get A  Scholarship

Thanks to the generous womENcourageTM supporters, local and international alike, you have a chance to receive a participation scholarship to join the event. Together with our supporters we are proud to announce scholarships to a number of students, who actively participate in the conference (with poster, workshop, tutorial, hackathon). A small number of scholarships will be offered to students who do not contribute to the program actively, but have shown exceptional interest in the relevant fields, and are preferably in the first year(s) of their studies

Important Dates

Registration openJune 1, 2021
Scholarship applications dueJune 10, 2021
Hackathon interest to participate dueAugust 10, 2021

To learn more, follow this link to the Call to Take Part.

Wish to organize the 2023 womENcourage? – Call for Proposals Open

The call for hosting womENcourage 2022 is now closed. The venue will be announced on 24 September 2021 during the closing session of womENcourage 2021. We are now looking for proposals to host womENcourage 2023.

The proposal process includes two phases (all the templates you will need are provided at the end):

  • Expressions of Interest (EoI) to be submitted no later than 17 June 2021 23:59 AoE, but earlier submissions are welcome and indeed highly recommended. Submitting an EoI does not constitute a firm commitment to hosting. It is a first step towards a conversation with ACM-W Europe which will help you navigate the process of applying to be a host venue, by thinking early about what you need to have in place to fulfill the requirements to host the event. Notification of a successful EoI proposal will be communicated via email by 2 July 2021.
  • Full Hosting Proposals to be submitted by 12 August 2021 23:59 AoE. Notification of the final decision on 10 February 2021.

Here are the links to the call documents:

Expression of Interest Due17 June 2021 23:59 AoE
Notification of a successful Expression of Interest proposalby 2 July 2021  
Full Proposal deadline12 August 2021 23:59 AoE
Notification of a successful Full Proposalby 1 October 2021

Kentucky Community Colleges Women in Computing (KYCCWIC)

Contact: Carmen Gaskins, carmen.gaskins@kctcs.edu

DATES: 2021-09-09 – 2021-09-10

WEBSITE: https://kyccwic.org/

LOCATION: Virtual

REGION: North America 

Kentucky Community College Women in Computing (KYCCWIC) is a regional ACM-W Celebration of Women in Computing. KYCCWIC connects technical women who are working/studying in Kentucky. This conference, “Embrace Change and Achieve Success”, gives women an opportunity to learn from leaders in various technical fields. The goal of the conference will concentrate on building relationships, preparing women for the future in technical fields, and celebrating women in computing. The 2021 conference will focus on computer security, computer programming, data analytics, and employment.