It has been a whole year since the pandemic suddenly changed our lives. Uncertainty has been the major obstacle hindering us from making plans. We never lost our hopes for a brighter future and the additional responsibilities that came with the pandemic kept us busier than ever. Vaccinations starting around the globe are helping to keep our hopes at the same level. All activities requiring mobility either turned out to be organized online or postponed to an unknown date. It looks like the war against COVID19 is going to continue. Until everybody feels safe, online events will continue. For those who have not lost their hopes but would like to stay on the safe side we want to share our suggestions for virtual celebrations.
Although it is not like in-person events there are advantages of virtual events like capacity, cost, and flexibility. ACM-W may schedule Zoom Meeting and Webinar platforms as the schedule permits.
If you are in one of the ACM-W regions, notice that each region has specific instructions besides the one included in this document. Make sure to check that information in your region’s website, which includes contact persons. As of March 2021 ACM-W Regional Committees are Asia Pacific, Europe, India and North America. For celebrations organized from these regions applications will be made as explained on the website. Applications from other regions will be evaluated by ACM-W Regional Activities team.
If you are planning to organize a virtual ACM Celebration of Women in Computing please check with your regional ACM-W celebrations committee and get prepared to answer the questions in their application form. For each celebration a page will be reserved on the related ACM-W website. The celebration organizers choose the official language(s) of the celebration to reach out to more participants.
For applications to ACM-W Regional Activities Team use the Virtual Celebration Application Form and submit at least 3 months before the proposed celebration date. In order to complete this form you will need to have to indicate total expected expenses in US Dollars and explain the major expense items. You can find a template for preparing a budget for your virtual celebration here.
Approval process and sharing the results will take no longer than two weeks. Please contact ACM-W Regional Activities Chair in case you do not hear at the end of two weeks.
Minimum requirements for an event to be funded (please note that if you do not comply with these requirements, funding will not be granted):
- The event must be at least one day in length (preferably two half days)
- The event must be branded as an “ACM Celebration of Women in Computing” event in the event’s title or as a subtitle.
- Registrants must be drawn from several chapters, institutions, regions. The number of registrants is an important information for evaluating the application.
- Events should loosely follow the Celebration model; keynotes, panel sessions, speakers, student presentations, poster sessions, hackathon, career fair etc.
- A summary of the event suitable for inclusion in ACM-W media channels must be provided at the end of the event to ACM-W Communications Chair, who can be found on ACM-W Contact Information page.
womENcourage 2021: Preparing for Prague
womENcourage 2021 is to be held in Prague, Czech Republic. The slogan of the event this year 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.
The community behind the scenes of womENcourage 2021 conference, is Czechitas. This Czech non-profit organisation emerged in 2014 to empower and encourage girls and women to engage in computing education or career transition. Czechitas strives to demonstrate that tech is an exciting career direction that is not necessarily difficult nor, more importantly, limited to one gender. Initially established to provide female students in the Czech Republic with an opportunity to put their hands on programming, it now aims at achieving a significant social change. Find out more about Czechitas.
ACM recognizes two European Women as Fellow and Distinguished Member
In January 2021, ACM recognised Prof. Olga Sorkine-Hornung (ETH Zurich) as Fellow for contributions to digital geometry processing, computer animation, computer graphics and visual computing. On the last days of December 2020, Prof. Maribel Fernandez (King’s College London) as a Distinguished Member for Outstanding Contributions to Computing. We congratulate them for their brilliant work and being outstanding role models to all women working in Computing.
We caught up with Prof. Maribel Fernandez in January. Her research interests include programming languages, models of computation and security. She develops tools for the specification, analysis and verification of complex systems (e.g., biochemical systems, financial systems, programming languages, software applications).
“I find it fascinating that there are so many different ways of understanding computation. In addition to the classical models of computation which gave rise to the current computer architectures, there are new models of computation inspired by biochemical processes, by agent interactions, by quantum mechanics.”
ACM-W Europe blog
We are delighted to host guests on ACM-W Europe blog, and this quarter we had fantastic contributions.
Breath of Fresh Air: Diversity Heroes – Toni Collis As a community, we embrace our diversity; diversity makes us better, stronger. We cannot do enough to applaud all of our heroes in their diversity. They are people who are ACM members, volunteers or experts in their field. Starting from June 2020, we have reached out to several heroes about their tech career journey, about their perspective on intersectionality and reflect on initiatives for equality. Our December guest was Dr Toni Collis, the CEO of Collis-Holmes Innovations, a Strategic Innovation Leader, Trainer, Consultant and Leadership Coach for women in tech Toni’s career has focused on facilitating the use of technology, with a particular emphasis on parallel computing and supercomputers, for the advancement of research and innovation in both academia and industry. Early on in her career, Toni realised that knowledge was not the only barrier to the uptake of parallel computing in research, but culture limited the participation of women and minorities. As Founder of Women in High-Performance Computing (WHPC), Toni developed and led innovations to diversify the HPC workforce, providing HPC tutorials for women academics and students worldwide, training and consultancy on building inclusive workforces, and research into how to improve the representation of women. Read more from Toni on our blog.
Blog Series: Telling our Stories Each year we meet wonderful women at womENcourage. This year was no different, and in the rest of the year, we will have womENcourage participants telling their stories in blog posts.
Viviana Bastidas December 2020 postwas by Viviana Bastidas, a PhD Student at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, Ireland, and a Lero member—the Irish Software Research Centre, Limerick, Ireland. Viviana wrote about her experience attending the “Social Networks Analysis: Theory and Practice” workshop, given by Dr Deniza Alieva and Gulnoza Usmonova. “ I would like to invite other students to participate in the next versions of ACM womENcourage. We must support each other and continue to encourage other women to develop their careers in computing. We have many opportunities to change small or big things in society, and computing helps us to find solutions to do so.”
Marjana Prifti Skenduli January 2021 post was written with passion for STEM is by Marjana Prifti Skenduli, a full-time lecturer of Computer Science and a Computer Science PhD candidate at the University of New York Tirana (UNYT). “I define myself as an enthusiastic Computer Science educator and a passionate Information Technology professional, who takes great pride in being a mother to two wonderful daughters. Perhaps I am a lucky person, for being able to combine my daily job with my passion and translate it into a bold mission: that of getting people of all ages and backgrounds excited about the immense possibilities of STEM education.” Read more from Marjana on our blog.
A Virtual Event – 5th September, 2020- Report
ACM India celebration of women in computing –a virtual event was organized by ACM-W India, ACM Nagpur Professional Chapter in association with ACM Nagpur Student Chapter of Yeshwantrao Chavan College of Engineering, Nagpur, Shri Ramdeobaba College of Engineering and Management, Nagpur, Priyadarshini College of Engineering, Nagpur and Persistent Systems Ltd. on 5th September,2020 under the theme “Covid 19: Innovation in IT” . The inaugural ceremony started by Dr. Mukta Paliwal Technical Expert of Persistent Systems. Due to the current pandemic, the event was organized in virtual mode on the online platform zoom webinar.
She introduced the ACMW India, described recent events held and how the organization has played a vital role in motivating the women including professionals, researchers and students in technology. She mentioned how the tech industry has collectively demonstrated remarkable leadership in responding to the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic while explaining about the theme of the event.
Main objective of AICWiC 2020 was to provide an explicit platform for women in technology to showcase their innovation and ideas and motivate others to take up the challenge and help the nation in becoming Independent technologically during these tough times.
She introduced Dr Heena Timani, ACM W India Council Chair, Data Scientist, Co-Founder, Director iAnanya Datalytix Pvt. Ltd. to deliver the welcome address and as a session chair for the keynote speech. As this event being the flagship event under ACM celebration women in computing Dr. Heena envisioned and heilighted the entire operational and key benefits of ACM-w membership and took the opportunity to brief about past events and upcoming events going to be held under the canopy of ACM India. She took initiative to provide the platform for women to showcase their talent and insisted on numerous opportunities for women scholars to grab several scholarships to the candidates under ACM-w India Chapter. She has always been a key inspiration to all young technocrats and actively involved in supporting and organizing computing events for women in India under ACM-Women Council.
Dr. Heena welcomed Prof. Reyyan Ayfer, Vice-Chair, ACM-W & Professor, Bikent University, Turkey for the keynote address. She contributed her expertise to international committees, most notably as a council member of ACM Europe and as the Founding Chair of ACM Women in Computing Europe Committee as well as leading a community of students who have formed the first international ACM-W Student Chapter. She is now serving for women in computing as the chair of Regional Activities of ACM-W. She received the Anita Borg Change Agent Award in 2008 after serving as the ACM-W Ambassador of Turkey for 8 years.
Dr. Reyyan delivered a keynote on “Changes, Challenges, Opportunities” and she began with saying that Our lives changed suddenly when the novel coronavirus spread throughout the world. We faced many challenges both in our personal and professional lives. Are there any opportunities in this especially for women in computing? She discussed some of the success tips and strategies for the budding innovators. Her address was mainly based on how COVID-19 has changed everyone’s lives and meanwhile impacted the opportunities for the students.
Prof. Devishree Naidu, session chair of second keynote introduce Dr. Jaya Sreevalsan Nair from IIIT Bangalore. She leads the Graphics-Visualization-Computing Lab and is one of the core team members of the E-Health Research Centre at IIITB. Her research interests in data visualization, scientific computing, computer graphics, and computational geometry. She has projected many data modeling concepts for visualizations and identified appropriate visualizations for complex datasets in data science workflow. The most interesting research that includes semantic classification of LiDAR point clouds, spatial and statistical analysis of population surveys, automated data extraction from chart images, community detection in biological and brain networks, and virtual world reconstruction of traffic scenes from monocular images. She has been supported by grants from SERB, DST, GoK, Intel, IBM, to name a few. She is an ACM member and IEEE Senior member. Her keynote specifically brought attention to “Data Dissemination during COVID-19: The Rise of Visualizations” in which she discussed the significance of data dissemination techniques discovered during the present COVID-19 scenario and tools used by computer scientists to make a lay-man understand complex facts and figures. She elaborated about 5 V’s Velocity, Veracity, Volume, Variety and Value of data. She also made all aware about Florence Nightingale as a data science who was also a pioneer in data visualization with infographics effectively used for graphical presentations of statistical data. Dr.Jaya discussed some of the research that took place at Karnataka region for showing statistics of Covid-19 and explored about the tools with additional futuristic which opened an eye for key research in the field of data science.
A panel discussion was organized during AICWiC2020 on theme ”Innovation Opportunities for New Normal during Pandemic”.A panel was moderated by Dr. Lipika Dey, Principal Scientist at the TCS Research and Innovation Labs. , faculty at the Department of Mathematics at IIT Delhi. (till 2007).The panelist were Dr. Maya Ingle, Director,DDU-Kaushal Kendra at DAVV Indore, Mrs. Rachna Patrikar,Senior Manager-Enterprise application and emerging technologies, Mahindra and Mahindra),Dr.Manik Gupta, Assistant Professor at BITS Pilani Mrs. Vandana Gupta, Director at Multivirt India Pvt Ltd & FNN Media Pvt Ltd ,28 years of experience in IT industry.
The Panel discussion started with a poll as a quick activity. The poll was conducted to know the experiences of the participants about Innovations during Covid-19 pandemic. After the poll chairperson of the panel Dr Nita Thakare welcomed all and briefed about the objective of panel discussion. She welcomed and introduced moderator of the panel Dr Lipika Dey. Dr Lipika Dey introduced the panel members and panel discussion was divided in to three phases. In the first phase all panel members have shared their experiences about the current scenario of innovations and their thought on the opportunities for IT innovations during covid pandemic. They discussed the Innovation Opportunities for New Normal during Pandemic in brief.
Moderator of panel Dr Lipika introduced panelist and coordinating with panel members. Dr Maya Ingle talked about the role of IT in education sector. She also discussed about the reasons for change in education methodologies and the opportunities for the educationalist and researchers during COVID 19 pandemic. Also she shared some examples on how practices changed from Offline classes to Online Classes. Mrs Rachana Patrikar ,discussed about current situation of Covid 19 pandemic and its effect on lifestyle of people also she talked on increase in usage of online market and online transaction. Dr Manik Gupta talked about latest technologies being used in innovations. She also discussed,how online platforms are helpful in pandemic and how blessed it is to share our knowledge with the community through virtual conference. Dr Vandana Gupta presented various products developed by her company to cater the pandemic situation.
She also discussed about innovations opportunities during Pandemic and motivated the participants to implement innovative ideas. During question – answer session, the Moderator Dr Lipika asked questions on behalf of the participants to panel members. The participants benefited by the answers of experts. The session ended with the concluding remark by Dr. Deveshree Naidu.
Poster Presentation Competition was part of Virtual Event for celebration of Women in Computing by ACM India. The competition was specially organized for UG/PG girl students of CS/CE and IT branches to boost innovative ideas. There were total three round in poser presentation competition. Education , Health care, Environment / Ecosystem / Waste Management , Age of Sustainable Development (Sustainable Cities and Communities) themes were decided for poster presentation competition. We received maximum posters in Health Care domain. We got good response from various reputed institutes of India, total 105 teams registered for poster presentation competition.
These groups were divided into 6 Teams of judges for evaluation and selection purpose. From this 24 teams were selected for second Skype interview round. Total 6 posters were selected for presentation in the final round during event.
Dr. Gauri Dhopavkar, Head, Department of Computer Technology, Yeshwantrao Chavan College of Engineering, Nagpur hosted the finale round of poster presentation competition on 5th September 2020 .Dr. Heena Timani, Chairperson, ACM-W, India, Dr. Rituparna Chaki, Professor, A K Choudhury School of IT, University of Calcutta, Dr. Tejaswini Apte,ACM-W Pune Professional Chapter Chair and ACM-W India council member, Mr. Darshan Kansara, Senior Consultant with Anblicks, Ahmedabad, were the judges for the finale.
During finale round, each finalists’ posters and videos explaining the detailed concept was presented to all audience. This round was followed by question/answer session to the poster presenters by judges. Out of 105 groups registered for this competition, 6 groups were shortlisted for finale round. Cash prizes were sponsored by Tata Consultancy Services.1st Prize: Rs.16,000, 2nd Prize: Rs.12, 000,3rd Prize: Rs. 8,000
A result of the virtual poster presentation was declared by Dr.Heena Timani. Below is the list of poster presentation winners
|Rank||Name of Student||Project Title||Institute Name|
|1||Soundarya Krishnan||Network Community Analysis based enhancement of Online Discussion forums||BITS Pilani, Goa Campus|
|2||Sona S||Technovid 2020||Thiagarajar College of Engineering,Madurai|
|3||Shradha Sehgal||Sab Jeevika: Enabling job search for the deprived sector||International Institute of Information Technology. Hyderabad|
In concluding remarks Dr.Heena Timnai thanked organizing team Dr. Devishree Rohit Naidu, Asst. Prof. ,Shri Ramdeobaba College of Engineering and Management,Dr. Gauri Dhopavkar , HoD, Yeshwantrao Chavhan, College of Engineering, Nagpur,Dr. Mukta Paliwal ,Technical Expert -Data Science, Persistent Systems Nagpur,Dr. Nita Thakare, Associate Prof. and Head, DCT, Priyadarshini College of Engineering, Nagpur,Dr. Swati Hira, Asst. Prof., Shri Ramdeobaba College of Engineering and Management, Nagpur,Mr. Vinit Kapoor ,Chief Architect, Persistent Systems Nagpur and Dr. Rutvi Shah Assistant Porf at Chimanbhai Patel Institute of Computer Applictions. She also thanked the poster prizes sponsors Tata Consultancy Services and Platinum partners of ACM Google, Persistent, Icertis.Mr. Chandrashekhar Sahasrabudhe,COO, ACM India congratulated team for their successful smooth completion of virtual event using Zoom Webinar.
Dr. Mukta Paliwal thanked to Keynote speakers, Panelists, ACM India, ACM W India and ACM International office bearers Various sponsors, Partner Industries, Partnering institutes, Participating institutes, Committee members, Evaluators/Judges, Students who took part in poster competition, Finalists, the Organizing team & all those who are directly or indirectly involved in the organization of this event. Everyone agree with the promise of staying connected to each other through these events, as a supportive and strong women community in the field of computer science education, research, and industry.
ACM-W Professional Chapters give you a local voice for change with the backing of an international organization. Professional chapters work with student chapters and industry leaders to advocate for equity and diversity in the tech industry. Our chapters around the world organize conferences, hack-a-thons, fundraisers, lecture series, community service, and networking events that gather together local students and IT professionals. Learn about these activities through two interviews with ACM-W Chapters who have offered to share their experiences.
Interview with Bojana Milasinovic, Belgrade ACM-W Professional Chapter
Why did you decide to form an ACM-W Professional Chapter?
Thanks to Reyyan Ayfer we found out about ACM and the opportunities for local communities. Because we were already dealing with the topic of women in tech on local level, forming ACM-W chapter opened a new door to us. Through chapter we could connect more people from local community to ACM activities.
When did you get your chapter charter?
It was in 2016. after the conference Women in Tech held in Brussels.
What projects are you working on?
Enter: ACM-W Celebration of Women in Computing is a two-day conference held in Belgrade. We have held this student-centered conference twice with about 500 attendees per event. We are planning to continue with similar events, focusing more on practical work than on classic lectures. A hands-on approach seems to be more popular and useful to participants, so we would love to continue our work in that direction.
What connections do you have with students?
We are in contact with several different student groups. Most of our programs are designed for them so we are trying to meet their needs by helping them on their way through professional challenges.
What benefits do the members of your chapter gain?
We try to connect members with other IT people (especially successful women from local IT community) so they can build a strong social network. Additionally, members can learn from women in the local IT community through different workshops about soft skills and technical skills. We also keep members informed about all ACM-W benefits. Most importantly, we listen to the problems they are facing in the professional world and note the skills they need and create programs to help them to adjust.
Where do you see your chapter in five years from now?
We hope that at some point we can pass the chapter activities to some young and motivated people who will be willing to carry on with the activities and fresh new ideas.
What suggestions or feedback for any groups looking to start their own chapter?
Go for it! 🙂 It can be very useful experience, leading you to the great people and great output of all successfully done activities.
Interview with Panagiota Fatourou, Greek ACM-W Professional Chapter
Why did you decide to form an ACM-W Professional Chapter?
Our motivation to form an ACM-W Professional Chapter in Greece stems from the need to enhance and advocate gender balance in computer-related scientific fields and professional sectors in Greece.
Based on 2014 Eurostat data, women are strongly under-represented in computer-related studies in most European countries, including Greece. Specifically, 80% or more of the students enrolled in computer-related study programs are men. Unfortunately, this trend seems to be persistent as these statistics have not been observed to improve the last several years. In parallel, Greece (and Europe) under-utilize women scientists in research and innovation, as well as in leadership positions, while women’s participation in the digital labour market decreases with age (the “leaky pipeline” phenomenon).
Action is necessary to discover, understand, and defeat the glass ceilings with the goal of addressing any form of gender imbalance in scientific leadership and decision-making processes, and ensuring a fair development of outstanding career paths with no barriers and misconceptions for both men and women in the digital sector. The Greek ACM-W Chapter aims at contributing in this direction by promoting gender-equal access to computer-related scientific frontiers, encouraging and educating women and men in an equal way to achieve their professional goals and utilize their potential in digital professions, and celebrating and disseminating the achievements of computer professionals, women and men, in a fair and gender-equal way.
When did you get your chapter charter?
The Greek ACM-W was chartered on July 2, 2018.
What strengths does your chapter have?
The main strength of the Greek ACM-W Chapter is its member base. Our founding members number more than 40 women covering diverse domains of computer science and engineering. Our members work primarily in academia and research institutions from all over Greece and abroad; however, Chapter membership working in the computing industry is also increasing. The Chapter’s overall member base has exceeded 190 individuals of all genders, in less than two years since its establishment (including most women professors working at Computer Science (CS) related Departments in all Greek Universities).
Can you tell me a little more about what projects you have been working on?
In the almost two years of its operation, the Greek ACM-W has succeeded in mobilizing a considerable number of women and men to become members of the chapter; establishing its online web and social media presence; and organizing events.
The Greek ACM-W chapter’s website (https://acmw-gr.acm.org) was launched in the first few months after the establishment of the chapter. The website aims to maintain a dynamic nature; it is being systematically updated with news regarding our activities and our members as well as resources, especially relevant reports and papers (https://acmw-gr.acm.org/index.php/en/resources/reports-papers). We have also created a YouTube (https://tinyurl.com/y2hresdk) and Flickr (https://tinyurl.com/ybrl3mfq) channels for storing more audiovisual resources. Most notably, our YouTube channel includes video documentation of all of the talks and sessions of our major event. In parallel, we update our Twitter https://twitter.com/GreekAcm and LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/groups/8721327/) spaces with the help of student volunteer members of our chapter.
Our first major event was the 1st Summit on Gender Equality in Computing, on June 7, 2019 in Athens, Greece. The GEC 2019 brought together students, researchers and professionals in the field of Computer Science. It was attended by 121 participants, of whom almost half were students. The program featured a) four keynote talks, b) a poster track including a flash talks session, c) several industry talks, d) a career development track, and e) a panel of women with distinctions and women in senior technical positions. Participants were inspired by the talks and activities that took place during the Summit, and enjoyed the offered opportunities for networking and sharing experiences. See https://tinyurl.com/y7w54urk and https://gec19.athenarc.gr/.
We are also in the process of establishing the following working groups, and collecting our members expressions of interest, indicating in which groups they would like to participate and contribute to:
- Celebrations and Events
- Networking and Connecting
- Raising Awareness and Dissemination
- Sponsoring Programme
- Computer Science and Education prior to the University
- Support during the University Studies
- Mentoring and Role Models Program
- Assessment and Evaluation
Following the big success of GEC 2019, we are currently organizing the 2nd Summit on Gender Equality in Computing, which will take place on June 12, 2020, as an online event (due to the COVID-19 pandemic).
We also plan to carry out a variety of mentoring initiatives and Summer Schools, as well as a seminar series focusing on gender equality issues in education, research and innovation.
Finally, we hope to formalize our chapter’s procedures, e.g. management structures for the different working groups, and chapter events so that these can be streamlined and sustainable across the different leadership boards that will assume responsibilities in the future.
What connections do you have with university students? What activities do you do?
A large number of our members are academics and, through this network, the Chapter has a strong connection with university students. In the planning of our first event, the GEC 2019, we ensured that students would be active participants and thus held a poster session especially for students and young researchers. Through a peer-reviewed process, 35 abstracts were selected and presented via flash talks and a dedicated poster session.
The Chapter has established a working group especially for supporting University students and will continue in this direction. Another working group is devoted on providing mentoring and coming up with a pool of role models.
What connections do you have with K-12 students? What activities do you do?
The Chapter has so far participated in the 1st Summer School in Computer Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (WiSTEM ’19), organized for high-school students in Heraklion, Crete, and with a presentation in “Youthtopia”, a non-formal youth group’s event for the International Day for Women in Science.
The Chapter has established a working group for K-12 and activities will pick up its action in the near future as we plan for summer schools and other activities for the K-12 target group.
What involvement do you have with local ACM events, chapters and initiatives?
As a Chapter, we collaborate with other local chapters, such as the ACM-W Student Chapter AUTH, with which we co-organised an event in Thessaloniki and the Greek ACM SIGCHI Professional chapter, as well as other ACM initiatives (e.g. with presentations at the ACM Summer Schools on Data Science 2018, 2019).
At a broader, regional and international scale, members of our Chapter are actively engaged with womENcourage and participate in Committees of ACM-Women Europe. Most notably, a members’ team poster was among the ten best posters (out of more than 70) selected at womENcourage 2019.
What professional, social, support benefits are gained for the members of your chapter?
The Greek ACM-W Chapter aims to create a community in Greece and has succeeded so far in providing networking opportunities to its members.
Our members can gain awareness about the CS-related issues through our newsletters, our website news, Twitter, and LinkedIn. We have been very active in informing our members about initiatives and events in Greece and abroad. We provide access to scientific papers, studies and other resources on our website, all talks given at the GEC 2019 are available on our YouTube channel.
Furthermore, our members’ achievements are promoted through our website and social media channels.
Where do you see your chapter in five years from now?
We aspire to continue expanding our member base, so that five years from now, the Greek ACM-W Chapter will have established a critical mass or active and engaged members, and a presence that can truly make an impact. We hope that the various working groups will have gained ground to organize their own activities, and contribute to a decentralization of the Chapter’s activities in order to spread impact across different parts of Greece.
What suggestions do you have for groups looking to start their own chapter?
Our 22 months of experience since establishing the ACM-W Chapter have highlighted the importance of motivation and transparency. Our suggestions, in a nutshell, include:
- to be clear about your vision and goals from the outset,
- to convene a small but active team that will work together as a core team to realize the vision and goals,
- to become familiar with all the resources that are out there and are available through ACM, and to leverage these resources,
- to be prepared for a lot of hard but very rewarding work!
Supporting, Celebrating, and Advocating for Women in Computing
We recognize the work of our ACM-W professional chapters and are grateful for the work they do to ensure women thrive in the tech industry:
- ACM-W UK Chapter
- Ankara ACM-W Chapter
- Azerbaijan ACM-W Chapter
- Belgrade ACM-W Chapter
- Cyprus ACM-W Chapter
- Delhi ACM-W Chapter
- Greek ACM-W Chapter
- Northwest Ohio ACM-W Chapter
- Inhambane ACM-W Chapter
- Jamshoro ACM-W Chapter
- OCWiC ACM-W Chapter
- Pune ACM-W Chapter
- Tallinn ACM-W Chapter
- Windhoek ACM-W Chapter
We also welcome our newest chapters and are excited to see what they will do:
- Chennai ACM-W Chapter
- Hibernia ACM-W Chapter
- Kharkiv Information & Communication Technologies ACM-W Chapter
- Trondheim ACM-W Chapter
Won’t you consider starting an ACM-W Professional Chapter near you? See the ACM-W website for more information: https://women.acm.org/acm-w-professional-chapters/
Not ready to start a chapter but want to get involved? ACM-W is looking for people to help support the professional chapters. If you have a few hours a month to donate to a worthy cause, please contact Rachelle Kristof Hippler (email@example.com) to find out how you can help.
Visit and follow us online!
As we ramp up our regional committee, we are anxious to start sharing news and activities of many women in computing across North America. We will highlight more in our next newsletter. In the meantime, our website has launched! You can now learn more about our work at ACM-W North America and keep up to date by visiting us at https://acmwnorthamerica.acm.org/.
We have also started our new social media platforms to help promote and celebrate the many fantastic women in computing! Follow us on Facebook (@ACMWNorthAmerica) and Twitter (@acmwnorthameric).
Are you ready for a new way to Celebrate? While the ACM-W community was able to see two Celebrations in February, by mid-March many current and upcoming Celebrations were canceled. However, one adventurous organizer for the Women in Computing Celebrations at University of Minnesota Duluth (MinneWIC), Arshia Khan (Associate Professor of Computer Science), decided to launch the first virtual Celebrations in North America.
“We were scheduled to have a 1.5-day conference on March 20th and 21st. March 20th was our TensorFlow workshop, while the conference was on March 21st, ” says Khan, who also serves as chair of the Women in Computing committee.
“This was our second year hosting this conference, and I did not want to cancel it since it is very beneficial to our students. We had the first event (Undergraduate Research Workshop), where students worked with faculty mentors on various research projects. The conference culminated these projects with students presenting their research,” she continued. “We had to make sure the students’ almost yearlong work was acknowledged.”
This Celebration was held on Saturday, March 21st, with a welcome address from Dr. Wendy Reed followed by the keynote speaker, Katherine Rasley.
|UMD WiC Celebrations |
Saturday, March 21st
8:30am Welcome: Dr. Wendy Reed
8:45am Keynote Speaker: Katherine Rasley
10:00am Research Workshop: Dr. Alexis Elder
11:00am Graduate Program Panel
12:00pm Industry Panel
1:00pm Poster Presentations
2:00pm Lightning Talks
Khan said that the virtual Celebrations went very well, with 55 participants of the 98 originally registered. “The panels, keynote, and research presentations were very well received. I received several emails after the event commenting on how informational this conference was.”
The Regional Celebrations 2020 of the Association for Computing Machinery – Women’s Council (ACM-W India) was held at Padre Conceicao College of Engineering, Verna, on 13th March 2020. The Annual mega-event was jointly organised by ACM, ACM-W, Padre Conceicao College of Engineering (PCCE), Indian Institute of Technology-Goa (IIT-Goa) and Goa University.
Ms. Revati Majumdhar, the Executive Director of Goa Electronics Limited, was the ChiefGuest for the Inaugural function. Rev. Fr. Anthony Castelo, Director of Agnel Technical Education Complex welcomed the delegates to the Campus. Ms. Maria D’Souza Chaudhary, Treasurer of ACM India, spoke about the purpose and initiatives of ACM. Also present on the dais were Dr. Mahesh Parappagoudar, Principal of PCCE, Dr. Sudhakshina Dutta, representing IIT-Goa, Assoc. Prof. Ramrao Wagh, representing Goa University and Ms. Razia de Loyola Furtado e Sardinha, Convenor of the event. Program Chairs Mr. Siddesh Sawant spoke aboutthe day’s eventsand Ms. Cassandra Fernandes proposed the vote ofthanks.
The theme chosen for the celebration was “Security Technology”. Mr. Riyaz Waliker, Head of Security Research Team at Appsecco, Bengaluru, was the Keynote Speaker. Also hosted were the ACM-India National-level Prototype Presentation Competition and ACM-India National-level Poster Presentation Competition. Over 30 teams from colleges across India submitted their proposals on “Technology for Women Safety”. The Prototype Presentations were judged by Mr. Ryan Pinto, Director of Innovantix Systems Private Limited, Goa, Ms. Akshata Raikar, Team Lead at PSL Goa and Mr. Riyaz Walikar. The Poster Presentationswere judged by Mr. Madhav Rangannekar, COO of S J Innovations and Ms. Maria D’Souza Chaudhary of Oracle Systems.
The highlight of the event was an entertaining and insightful panel discussion by eminent women technocrats Dr. Veena Thenkanidiyoor, Dean at NIT-Goa, Prof. Anusha Pai, Head of Computer Engineering, PCCE, Dr. Kavita Asnani, Asst. Professor at GEC, Ms. Maria Chaudhary, MTS at Oracle Systems, Dr. Sudakshina Dutta and Dr. Poonulakshmi V. K.,Asst. Professors at IIT-Goa, Ms. Lourdes Soares, Founder of SabrCare, Goa and Ms. Nadisha Kamat, Product Owner at Odessa-Bengaluru. The animated panel discussion on the topic“Does Gender Impact Technology” was moderated by Ms. Razia de Loyola Furtado e Sardinha, Asst. Professor, PCCE.
Wish to organize womENcourage 2021? Submit your Expression of Interest by 30 April 2020.
With womENcourage 2020 organization well underway, we are now looking for proposals to host womENcourage 2021. The proposal processincludes two phases:
- Expressions of Interest to be submitted by 30 April 2020.
- Notification of successful Expression of Interest proposal by 15 May 2020
- Full Hosting Proposals by 19 June 2020
- Notification of the final decision on 10 July 2020
Each Expression of Interest will be reviewed by the womENcourage Steering Committee and followed up by a conference call to discuss the proposal. The teams that are shortlisted for the second phase will be provided with a budget template and advice on submitting the full proposal. The full proposals are due on 19 June, including the detailed proposed budget.
The template for Expression of Interest can be found here.
Completed Expression of Interest needs to be submitted in the PDF format through the Google form.
We look forward to receiving your proposal. Should you have any questions or require further information, please send email to the womENcourage Steering Committee: ACMWE_SC@LISTSERV.ACM.ORG.
If you are wondering about how it feels to join the womENcourage events, we have been inviting participants to reflect on their experiences from womENcourage 2019, in Rome on our ACM-Women Europe blog series. This month, we are hosting Gunay Abdullayeva, who got her master’s degree at the University of Tartu and specialized in Data Mining, Machine Learning, Neural Networks. Read about Gunay’s journey in computing so far and the amazing experience she had at womENcourage 2019 Hackathon in Rome on our blog.
The hackathon in womENcourage 2019 was a full-day activity attended by 100 participants. The majority of them were master’s degree students (42%), but there was also a significant representation of undergraduates (22%) and doctoral students (22%). The remaining 16% were high school students and early-career professionals. 64% of them considered programming as their area of expertise, 27% were experts in design and 17% — in business. 69% of them have never attended a hackathon before. Gunay and her team competed in the Circular Economy Award challenge sponsored by Eni.
Gunay writes: “The feedback from the jury was quite positive and we were delighted to hear that we were the winning team! As a reward, we got the three-days free entry for the conference SingularityU Italy Summit 2020. All costs (accommodation, and flight) were covered by the company Eni.” “I would encourage you to believe in yourself, and apply to attend WomENcourage. Never give up, and create your story!”
ACM womENcourage Celebration of Women in Computing is an exciting event, organized annually by ACM Women Europe, each year in a different European country to provide opportunities for women from diverse technical disciplines to come together and exchange knowledge, ideas and experiences. womENcourage attendees take part in hackathon projects, workshops, tutorials, keynotes, technical talks, panels, and poster presentations and expand their professional network through socializing. The Celebration is supported by a number of companies and professional organizations who generously donate funds and take part in the Career Fair, presenting exciting employment opportunities.
womENcourage 2020 will be held at 24-24th of September 2020 in Baku, Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan is a European country located at a major international crossroads of trade and culture between Europe and Asia. Baku is the capital and largest city of Azerbaijan, the metropolitan area has about 4 million inhabitants. It is also the largest city on the Caspian Sea with traces of human settlements leading back to the stone age. The average temperature in September is 26C with very little rain. There are many wonderful attractions including ancient sites from UNESCO World Heritage List such as the old city with the Shirvanshah’s Palace and Maiden Tower as well as modern architectural marvels such as the Heydar Aliyev Center that was designed by the world-renowned architect, late Zaha Hadid.
The venue this year is ADA University, and the event organisation is led by an experienced team headed by Araz Yusubov (Dean, School of IT and Engineering, ADA University). The team has been hosting the Ada’s Legacy ACM Celebration in Baku the last four years.
The theme for this year’s event is “The equation has two sides”. womENcourage this year aims to increase the number of male participants to break the women-only event stereotype. Inclusivity and involving all parties are crucial for resolving the diversity issues.
Participants will be encouraged to contribute to the event program through posters, workshops, panel discussions as well as inspiring keynote talks. Posters provide womENcourage participants with an opportunity to present their work, receive feedback, exchange knowledge and establish collaborations with others who share the same interests. We welcome poster submissions that present original ideas and research, and authors may submit ongoing, new work or versions of their previously published work.
The womENcourage steering and organising committees are working tirelessly to bring you an exciting program! Check the important dates below not to miss the deadlines for your contributions. Remember, scholarships are open to both men and women!
The event will have a very exciting social program, so, make sure to keep an eye on the womENcourage website in the coming months.
|Poster Abstracts are due Poster notifications||1 May 2020 5 June 2020|
|Scholarships applications are due Scholarship notifications||15 June 2020 15 July 2020|
|Workshops proposals are due Workshop notifications||15th June 2020 15 July 2020|
|Registration opens Last day for early registration||1 July 2020 1 August 2020|
Over the last two months, three Celebrations were held in three countries of North America reaching over 1,000 students! Celebrations were held by the Caribbean Celebration of Women in Computing (in Puerto Rico), Canadian Celebration (in Ontario, Canada), and a four-state Celebration in the U.S. (Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas). Special shout-out to Nayda Santiago, Carol Spradling, and Wendy Powley and their volunteer teams for their time and efforts in supporting and encouraging future tech leaders. Next up are Celebrations in the U.S., including Carolina Women in Computing (North and South Carolina), Tri-state Women in Computing Conference (Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana), and Capital Area Women in Computing (Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey).
If you want to learn more about Celebrations in North America or are interested in volunteering, you can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can now follow us on Facebook! @ACMWNorthAmerica