Greetings from the ACM-W Chair – Spring 2022

Jodi Tims

A lot of ACM-W activity has happened during the first quarter of this calendar year, some of which was previously reported via blog postings and listserv announcements, but is included in this edition of our newsletter in case you missed those earlier reports. Articles below highlight our latest Rising Star award winner (Minlan Yu), our most recent Celebrating Technology Leaders webinar (Mental Health, Well-being, and Self Care), recent ACM-W chapter activity, happenings from ACM-W North America, and exciting news about ACM-W work happening in Africa.

Thanks to the hard work of our many ACM-W volunteers and the generous support of many sponsors, we have also had several ACM Celebration events – some virtual, some in-person, and some hybrid.

It has been such a pleasure and honor to lead this amazing organization for nearly five years. My term as ACM-W chair will be ending as of June 30th of this year. As we look ahead to the future, I am thrilled to announce that Ruth Lennon, current Chair of ACM-W Europe and lecturer at the Letterkenny Institute of Technology, has been named the next ACM-W Chair. Ruth has already begun to engage with our ACM-W global leadership team and I am confident that she will continue to build upon and advance our efforts world-wide as we continue to support, celebrate and advocate for women in computing. Congratulations, Ruth!

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

Jodi Tims
ACM-W Chair

Mental Health, Wellbeing, and Self-Care: A Candid Discussion with Women Technologists

When? Mar 16, 2022 12:00 PM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Register Now

Whether it is the stress and responsibilities of ordinary life, job-related pressures, or pandemic created conditions, numerous stressors challenge our mental wellbeing. In this episode of “ACM-W Celebrating Technology Leaders,”, leading women technologists open up on the issue of mental health and wellbeing. They share stories of personal struggles, growth, and resilience and provide strategies for managing such challenges. We also explore the topic of self-care, small steps you can take yourself, and when you may need professional help.

Join host Bushra Anjum and her panelists for an honest and timely discussion on recognizing the signs of mental distress in yourself and some of the best practices for supporting personal wellbeing.

Panelists

Tertia Labuschagne | Digital Transformative Executive at Massmart and Independent Holistic Health Coach (INHC)

Katie Panciera, Ph.D. | Assistant Professor at Milwaukee School of Engineering

 Courtney Thurston-Del Buono | Software Engineer at Microsoft

 Virginia Grande | Ph.D. Student at Company NameUppsala University

with host Bushra Anjum

Register Now

Previous episodes of “Celebrating Technology Leaders” can be viewed here.

Celebrating Technology Leaders – Machine Learning Careers: Looking Beyond the Hype

So what is the gap between the popular (mis)understanding of ML potential and what the tools can actually deliver today? In the next episode of ACM-W “Celebrating Technology Leaders”, scheduled for October 20th at 3:00 PM ET/12:00 PM PT we seek practical guidance and pointers for our future ML workforce.

Join us for a panel discussion with successful ML professionals, Dafna Shahaf (Associate Professor, Data Science, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem), Dhivya Chinnappa (ML Research Scientist, Thomson Reuters), Fatma Tarlaci, Ph.D. (Machine Learning Scientist, OpenTeams), and Koyuki Nakamori (Head of Machine Learning, Headspace) where we focus on:

1. How to best identify problems that are suitable candidates for an ML-based solution?
2. How do we determine the “success” of an ML-based solution?
3. What mindset shift is required as we move from course work and projects to solving real-world business problems?
4. What does it take to successfully maneuver a career in the ever-changing ever-evolving landscape of ML?

Together, we will find our nuggets of wisdom and inspiration from our panelists’ personal stories and professional opinions.

with host Bushra Anjum [Register Now]

Celebrating Technology Leaders – Tech Returnships for Women

Wednesday, August 18th at 3:00 PM ET/12:00 PM PT,  a panel discussion featuring

Kristi Lamar: Managing Director | Monitor Deloitte
Maryam Shabbir: Business Development Consultant | SybridMD
Christine Winston: Vice President | Path Forward
Jossie McManus: Software Engineer | VMware

with host Bushra Anjum [On Demand]

Celebrating Technology Leaders – Women in Cybersecurity

Wednesday, June 9th at 3:00 PM ET/12:00 PM PT,  a panel discussion featuring Sara Hall (Deputy CISO and Head of Security Operations and Engineering, MassMutual), Sepideh Ghanavati, Ph.D. (Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science, University of Maine) and Cimone Wright-Hamor (Graduate Research Assistant, Computer Engineering, Iowa State University), with host Bushra Anjum [On Demand]

Celebrating Technology Leaders – Women in Robotics

Wednesday, March 31st at 3:00 PM ET/12:00 PM PT,  a panel discussion featuring Laura Stelzner
(Principal Robotics Software Engineer, RIOS Corporation), Sarah Gibson, Ph.D. (Senior Engineering Manager Robotics, Unity Technologies), and Tessa Lau, Ph.D. (Founder & CEO, Dusty Robotics), with host Bushra Anjum [On Demand]

An Interview with Bushra Anjum, ACM-W Standing Committees Co-Chair

What is your vision for the new ACM-W webinar series “Celebrating Technology Leaders”?

Some of ACM-W’s most successful events and panels in the past (chapters, celebrations, etc.) were focused on career advice, especially non-academic careers (industry, research labs, government, non-profit, etc.). However, the unfortunate outbreak of COVID-19 has halted such meaningful events. Furthermore, stories and survey responses from our members tell us that younger professionals want to hear from people with non-traditional career routes, moving between research labs, academia, industry, government, or non-profits. These needs became the motivating factor as I proposed a new initiative to the ACM-W global leadership, a web series “Celebrating Technology Leaders.” The idea is to bring stories and advice from engaging speakers, with diverse careers in computing, directly to our global audience. I am truly grateful that my proposal received approval and support not only from the ACM-W leadership but also from the ACM Education and Professional Development, and ACM Marketing. I would also like to acknowledge our partners CRA-WP and NCWIT, who recently came on board to help spread the word and increase the efficacy and reach of this ACM-W initiative.

It is my privilege to drive this project and serve as a host for Celebrating Technology Leaders.

Session 1: The bond between academia and industry

What will the attendees gain by attending the Celebrating Technology Leaders sessions? 

We have designed the series so students and early career professionals can expand their horizons, learn about the multitude of career options available, and make informed choices about the next step in their professional journeys. At the same time, staying true to the ACM-W mission, we aim to celebrate women in computing. Thus in each episode, I invite women in computing who have excelled in their careers for an online panel discussion. We feature panelists from all career levels in research, industry, government, and non-profits. During the one hour conversation, we highlight their journeys, share inspiring stories, and learn what it takes to succeed in their career of choice.  

While choosing our panelists, we emphasize the diversity of backgrounds and experiences of the panelists so that our discussion is applicable and relatable to a wide variety of listeners. The series is geared towards students and early-career professionals, and we’re hoping to provide valuable experiences for anyone considering switching their career path in a technical direction. For example, our earliest panels have discussed the bond between academia and industry (Session 1), experiences in entrepreneurship (Session 2), opportunities in the growing world of User Experience / User Interfaces (Session 3), and most recently, the career opportunities in Data (Session 4).

Session 3: Growing opportunities in the world of UI/UX

Where can we find more information on Celebrating Technology Leaders, and the future sessions?

The series is free and open for public viewership. We organize one session every 6 to 8 weeks. Each session features a 45-minute discussion followed by a 15-minute interactive Q&A session. You can view our past sessions on YouTube.

Additional details can be found on our webpage. We will also be announcing our future sessions.

If you have any suggestions on topics and speakers, please do reach out to me at https://www.bushraanjum.info/contact

Bushra Anjum, ACM-W Standing Committees Co-Chair

Celebrating Technology Leaders – Women in Data

Wednesday, February 3rd at 3:00 PM ET/12:00 PM PT,  a panel discussion featuring Samia Khalid (Senior AI Engineer at Microsoft), Lilla Czako (Data Engineer at Doximity) and Liza Layne (Lead Data & Analytics Manager at Eurostar International Ltd), with host Bushra Anjum [On Demand]

Celebrating Technology Leaders – Women in UI/UX

Thursday, December 10 at 3:00 PM ET/12:00 PM PT, a panel discussion featuring Evren Holland (Head of User Experience and Design, MotiveMetrics), Eunjoo Kim (UX Design Lead, Google), and Iram Mirza (UX lead for Play Store and Monetization), with host Bushra Anjum [on demand]

Celebrating Technology Leaders – Women Tech Entrepreneurs and Founders

Wednesday, October 14 at 3:00 PM ET/12:00 PM PT, a panel discussion featuring Shanea Leven (Founder and CEO at CodeSee), Rebekah Bastian (CEO and Co-Founder of OwnTrail), Heli Helskyaho (CEO Miracle Finland Oy), and Nina Bhatti (Founder and CEO Kokko Inc), with host Bushra Anjum. [on demand]

Celebrating Technology Leaders – ACM-W Leadership Vision

Wednesday, August 26 at 3:00 PM ET/12:00 PM PT, a panel discussion featuring Jodi Tims (ACM-W Chair), Reyyan Ayfer (ACM-W Regional Activities Chair), and Amelia Cole (ACM-W Treasurer), with host Bushra Anjum. [on demand]