To celebrate International Women’s day, we will start a Wikipedia campaign that will aim to add as many Wikipedia articles about women that are in computing, and from as many European countries as possible. If you would like to join us in this effort, please nominate women or directly write articles on Wikipedia about them and share it on social media with hashtags #CSWiki.
Do not miss us on social media to learn about the campaign and also nominate women you would like featured. Like our ACM-WE Facebook page, follow us on Twitter (@acmweurope) or Instagram (@acmweurope) to get the updates.
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|
This month we take the opportunity of the remodeling of the ACM-W newsletter to discuss a little of the history of the program of scholarships and its committee. There is no one better to describe the program and history that its initiator Professor Elaine Weyuker (See her in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elaine_Weyuker).
So we have asked Professor Weyuker (EW below) four questions on the Scholarships Program and its history. These questions and her replies are below. We hope you’ll enjoy reading about our history! Perhaps some of our readers will join us in sending other questions (historical or otherwise) to the Scholarship committee. We cannot guarantee answers, but we can try to find some responses for you on the issues of the Scholarship program!
Q1. When did the Scholarship program start? Who propose it initially and to whom?
EW: In 2004, Maria Klawe who was just ending her ACM Presidency (Dave Patterson was the new president) asked me to co-chair ACM-W with Ursula Martin, then a professor at St Andrews in the UK. I agreed and then after a year of working together, Ursula stepped down entirely and I became chair.
ACM-W was at the time a not-terribly active group. When I took on the chair position alone in 2005, I initiated several new projects. The one nearest and dearest to my heart was the scholarship program. ACM-W had a very small budget at the time and I carried enough money from that to fund I believe 5 young women to attend conferences during the year. I wrote to all of the degree-granting programs I could, and made presentations to the SIG board chairs asking them to help and waive conference registration fees. Any woman that won one of the scholarships, I wrote to their dean and told them how proud they should be of this remarkable young woman and asked them to provide matching funds. I asked Valerie Barr (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valerie_Barr), who I had known from the days when she was a beginning graduate student at NYU and I was a brand new faculty there, and asked her to help me run this program which I felt could be a wonderful recruitment/retention tool to help young women to aspire to something great. After the first year, I asked Valerie to continue running the scholarship program on her own while I continued as ACM-W chair through the reigns of the next 4 or so ACM presidents. When the program started to grow because we started getting outside funding, Valerie needed additional help and so I asked Adriana Compagnoni (Stevens Institute of Technology) to join and help Valerie with the program. Eventually, I think in 2012, Valerie succeeded me as ACM-W chair and Adriana took over running the scholarship program. When I stepped down at ACM-W chair, I became a member of the scholarship selection committee.
Q2. What do you think is the main motivation for the program?
I went to an undergraduate college and my family was working class, and I knew there were lots of women with wonderful talent who would never reach their full potential because they didn’t even know about research, or ever think of going to graduate school. So my motivation was to help these young women see that there was a whole world out there that might be wonderfully interesting and to give them a peek at this world and thereby encourage them to aspire to something great. My ideal recipient was an undergraduate who after going to a conference might say to herself: “Wow – I want to do that” The other perfect candidate in my eyes was a terminal Masters student who was also not involved in research. I hoped that by attending a research conference and finding out about how exciting research can be, she would want to continue on to a PhD. The other group that I hoped to target was the new graduate student who did not yet have research funding and was not at one of the “rich universities” that could afford to cover the costs. To me the goal has always been to help the young woman who is has never gone to a research conference get their first taste of research which I hoped could be a life-changer for them.
Q3. Did you think it would take this long to get women into computing?
Sadly no. I received my PhD in Computer Science in 1977 – the statistics have not changed significantly in terms of the percentage of women in the field in more than 40 years, but we keep trying!
Q4. What are your expectations for the program now?
I hope it will continue to grow with the help of people like you who are committed to expanding the pipeline, and the generosity of companies that understand that increased diversity means that there is more talent available which is good for everyone.
We thank Professor Weyuker for her admirable work on behalf of the ACM-W, of the students and especially for her dedication to the Scholarship program.
The next application deadline is April 15 for conferences taking place in Jun 1 – July 31, 2020.
If you have any questions, please contact the scholarship committee chair Prof. Viviana Bono, at email@example.com.
The ACM-W Scholarship for Attendance of Research Conferences program provides support for women students in Computer Science and related programs who wish to attend research conferences. The student does not have to present a paper at the conference to be eligible for a scholarship. The scholarship exposes students to prominent researchers in their field, introduces students to new research, and excites them about doing research by themselves.
Applications are evaluated at 6 occasions each year, to distribute awards across a range of conferences, with usually 3-6 awards given for each group of applications. We ask students to share with us some of their thoughts on the conference they attend, preferably with a picture, so that we can show our readers and funders the diversity of our winners. The ACM Scholarships are made possible due to the generous support of Microsoft, Google and Oracle.
This month we have a big crop of winners, twelve in fact. Seven of them are undergraduate students. They are Hareem-E-Sahar (University of Alberta, CA), Varnika Kairon (Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi, India), Aleksandra Koralczyk (Lodz University of Technology, Poland), RutujaTaware (Pune Institute Of Computer Technology, India), Lavinia Paganini (Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Brazil), Jaelle Scheurman (Tulane University, USA) and Ruba Abu-Salma (University College London, UK). The five graduate students are: Belgica Valencia (CETYS University, Mexico), Maria Lydia Fioravanti (University of São Paulo, Brazil), Micol Spitale (Politecnico di Milano, Italy), Jingmei Hu (Harvard, USA), and Anna Werner (LMU Munich, Germany).
We heartily congratulate all our winners and hope they will be able to use their Scholarships! Given the current situation with the Coronavirus, travelling seems more complicated than ever!
For more information and to apply visit: https://women.acm.org/scholarships/.
To see previous winners’ reports on their conference trips visit https://women.acm.org/scholars/acm-w-scholars/?sch_year=2019.
The ACM-W Communications Committee is recruiting for two volunteers to maintain our websites. Specifically, we are seeking an editor for the ACM-W wikipedia page and also for the ACM-W website.
The site editor’s primary responsibility is to ensure quality readership. Thus editor’s regular task may include, but are not confined to, the following: preparing and formatting content, reviewing articles, researching sources, editing grammar and content. It is expected that an editor will spend less than 10 hours a month uploading content and editing existing pages.
The successful applicant will have experience with research and professional writing in the practice of similar assignments. The candidate will also have technical experience with WordPress, wikitext, visual editors and similar tools.
Please send a letter of interest to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include all meaningful and relevant experience.
The Communications Committee is pleased to announce a new resource for ACM-W Chapters and Celebrations. Shareable graphics are now available from our website: https://women.acm.org/graphics/
Here you will find logos and posters and designs elements suitable for use in creating promotional materials for your group or event.
What can you do with these graphics? Download them! Print them! Edit them! Share them! Use them to make stickers, badges, web-pages, banners, posters, event notices, pamphlets, flyers, tee shirts, mugs, tote bags, social media identities, magnets, coasters… and so much more!
Association for Computing Machinery’s Council on Women in Computing (ACM-W) celebrates and advocates the involvement of girls and women in all aspects of computing education and research. It works to raise awareness about the opportunities available for females in the growing field of computer science through a diverse range of programs and services. Expanding globally, ACM-W has reached India, where it seeks to further novel ways for the next generation of females to face today’s problems and challenges.
An ACM-W workshop on the theme “women in computer science and research” was organized on 14th February,2020 during the ACM Annual Event 2020 by the CSE Discipline at IIT Gandhinagar. The event kick-started with a welcome address by Dr. Heena Timani (Chairperson, ACM-W India), during which she highlighted the critical functions of ACM-W. She also explained several programs of this Council in detail, such as the India chapters, Hackathon, the Summer and Winter Schools for girls, Grad Cohort, and scholarships, in the long list of many others.
The first keynote talk was by Dr. Cherri M Pancake (President, ACM), during which she described how ACM-W encourages females to revolutionize the field of CSE research. Sharing her life story, she said that ACM-W is all about being proactive, progressive, patient, strategic, flexible, ready to push oneself to perform the best, able to face challenges head-on, and active change agents, and helps women explore the latest developments in computing.
Next in line was the engaging session by Dr. Arati M. Dixit (Senior Scientist, ARA; Research Associate Professor, NC State University, Raleigh, USA), which shed light on the growing ACM-W leadership team. Now encompassing several regional groups viz., ACM-W North America, ACM-W Europe, and ACM-W South-Pacific Regions, it is in the process of expanding to Africa as well. Dr. Dixit proceeded to explain more about the various scholarships available for girls and women. She also discussed the future possibilities of efficient connections among different student chapters in a particular region.
The invited talk by Dr. Lipika Dey (Principal Scientist, TCS Innovation Lab) on Data Analytics, started with the changing buzz words synonymous with this field. Later followed the discussions on the main challenges of this domain, viz., consistency, explainability, security, reproducibility, and integrity. The session concluded with the message that proper utilization of data analytics can help convert data to information to knowledge. Dr. Dey also advised the females to give their best, utilize all possible opportunities to lead from the front, and adopt a positive outlook on all situations.
One of the most thought-provoking sessions of this workshop was a panel discussion consisting of Dr. Meenakshi D’Souza (Associate Professor, IIIT Bangalore), Dr. Chitra Babu (Professor and HOD, SSN College of Engineering), and Dr. Arati M. Dixit, Dr. Nutan Limaye (Associate Professor, IIT Bombay). They all shared stories of their journeys in computing and the challenges they faced as women (personally and professionally). Talking about the issue of gender ratio in the educational institutes of the country, the panelists advised the female participants on how to carve a niche for themselves and become leaders in computer science.
Dr. Kalika Bali (Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research Lab, India) delivered an enlightening talk on computing technologies that could help in promoting the low resource languages of the country and the globe. She explained the importance of data, techniques, and applications in extending these languages and, hence, enabling efficient networking among communities. Another interesting session by Dr. Joycee Mekie (Assistant Professor, IIT Gandhinagar) provided insights into the world of approximations in computing: what should and shouldn’t undergo approximation in an application, and how so – what sort of algorithms should go into it? How to tune it (accuracy) and where to apply it?
The event came to an end with a valedictory function and a networking session. With an attendance of more than 100 participants – students, researchers, and leading experts, this workshop was a huge success. It proved an excellent platform for women in computer science and allied areas to build discussion forums with some of the most eminent minds in the field of computing education and research. Workshop was successfully completed under great enthusiasm and the encouraging support of Dr. Neeldhara Misra (Assistant Professor IITGN , Dr. Rutvi Shah (Assistant Professor CPICA) and Ms. Apeksha Srivastava (Senior Project Associate, IITGN)
On December 7th 2019, the 1st STEM Grad Cohort Workshop was conducted at American University, Kuwait (AUK), led by Dr Zainab AlMeraj, Assistant Professor, Kuwait University. The attendees were graduates or senior undergraduate female student in computing, engineering or scientific-related studies, who were interested in interacting with other successful women in the STEM field. The objective was to provide advice on topics such as
- how to do exploratory research to find a research topic that inspires passion
- how to successfully prepare for an interview
- how to write a professional resume
The program was introduced by Dr AlMeraj, followed by an inspiring presentation by Dr Fatima Boujarwah, “Find Your Passion for Research and Career”. Dr Fatima led the students in handicraft exercises that helped the students begin the realization of their passion for STEM. Dr Boujarwah was followed by Dr Reem AlBaghli and Eng. Dana Winner, who co-presented localized advice regarding Job Interviews. The Job Interview presentation team provided advice from experts and from personal experience regarding how to prepare, how to dress, how to respond, and how to follow-up the interview. In the final session of the day the volunteers provided one-on-one review and advice regarding the attendees’ C.V.s.
Almost 65% of the Cohort registrants were aged 21-25, 25% were 26-40 and 23% were 18-20 years of age. The registrants’ areas of study were Engineering (51%), Sciences (20%) and Technology (19%). The response to the workshop was enthusiastic. Both attendees and leaders of the Cohort Workshop look forward to the next event. The second workshop focusing on job interview skills and C.V. building will be a parallel session at the Women in Data Science (WiDS) conference in Kuwait on March 18th.
Grad Cohort Kuwait volunteering expert member
IS and Cyber Security Professional
ACM-W is proud to announce that you can now @us! That’s right, our official Twitter account is now live, @OfficialACMW. Now, through Twitter (and still Facebook) you’ll be able get notified about regular ACM-W announcements, plus reminders about scholarships, events, and stories for all things women in computing. Best of all, this will make it easier for us to connect with you! Be sure to tag us in your posts for your own events and achievements, so we can join the celebration.
Welcome from the ACM-W Chair
After a three-year effort of eleven scientific organizations, the preliminary report A Global Approach to the Gender Gap in Mathematical, Computing and Natural Sciences is available. A major part of this project was a global survey of scientists. Analysis of survey responses produced several significant findings emphasizing that a gender gap continues to exist across all disciplines. These results include:
- Women were more likely to report receiving lower salaries compared to their colleagues, even after results were adjusted for explanatory factors such as age, discipline, geographic region, employment sectors, and level of human development in their region.
- Women were 1.6 times more likely than men to report interruptions in their graduate studies, a major factor impacting doctoral completion rates.
- Women were less likely to report positive relationships with their doctoral advisors and a lower doctoral program quality.
- Across all global regions, all disciplines, and all level of economic development, women were significantly more likely than men to report discrimination based on gender.
- Over 25% of women respondents across all the sciences reported personally having experienced sexual harassment at school or work. Women were also statistically more likely than men to say they had personally witnessed sexual harassment.
The news was not all bad, however, as an analysis of publication patterns in Mathematics, Physics, and Astronomy revealed that the proportion of scientific publications by women has increased steadily since 1995 and now sits at 85%-95% of all publications. Future related work hopes to include other disciplines in this analysis.
It is clear that the work that we do in ACM-W is still necessary and valuable in supporting women in computing globally. Celebrations and grad cohort events are shown to provide much needed inspiration for those who attend, while establishing student and professional chapters ensures a level of consistent, ongoing support for chapter members. I encourage those in regions where ACM-W activity is absent to reach out to me and I will connect you to those project leaders that can help you begin one of these activities.
For anyone planning to attend SIGCSE 2020, March 12th-14th in Portland, OR, you can find ACM-W at booth 619 in the exhibit hall. Stop by and one of our volunteers will be happy to talk with you about how you can be more involved in supporting, celebrating and advocating for women in computing through ACM-W.
Thanks for standing with us as we work to fulfill our mission.
Other ACM-W News
- The Scholarships Committee announces the first awardees of 2020.
- Reflections on womENcourage 2019 are a part of the ACM-W Europe report.
- ACM-W North America welcomes its newest student chapter- California State University at Chico.
Report from ACM-W North America
ACM-W North America welcomes the newest ACM-W Student chapter, California State University at Chico! Shout out to Bryan Dixon (faculty sponsor), Tanya Bellen Bonilla (Chair), Paige Marie Jones (Vice Chair) and Maena Haroldson (Treasurer) and the 16 chapter members for your efforts to support, celebrate, and advocate for women in computing.
We look forward to two upcoming Celebrations, Carolina Women in Computing (Feb 21 -22) and the Tri-State Women in Computing Conference for the tri-state area of Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana (Feb 14-15).
We’ve joined social media! Be sure to follow ACM-W North America for the latest news and updates as we begin to move forward with our new regional committee! Find us on Facebook (@ACMWNorthAmerica), LinkedIn (ACM-W-North-America), and Twitter (@acmwnorthameric).
News from ACM-W Scholarships
The ACM Scholarship for Attendance of Research Conferences program provides support for women students in Computer Science and related programs who wish to attend research conferences. The student does not have to present a paper at the conference to be eligible for a scholarship. Applications are evaluated at 6 occasions each year, to distribute awards across a range of conferences, with usually 3-6 awards given for each group of applications. The ACM Scholarships are made possible due to the generous support of Microsoft, Google and Oracle.
If the award is for attendance at one of the ACM special interest group conferences (SIG conferences), the SIG will most likely provide complimentary conference registration and a mentor during the conference. The number of free registrations available varies from SIG to SIG. ACM-W has helped students attend a wide range of meetings including SIGGRAPH, SIGCHI, Women in Cyber Security, ACM EC, SIGCSE, IEEE Conferences, DIS, IPDPS, ICCC, ACM CHI, AAMAS, FLAIRS, WIMS, CSCW, GECCO, ICAPS, and ICSE, amongst others.
The scholarship exposes students to prominent researchers in their field, introduces students to new research, and excites them about doing research by themselves. We ask students to share with us some of their thoughts on the conference they attend, preferably with a picture, so that we can show our readers and funders the diversity of our winners.
We are happy to announce the first awards of 2020! We have four students going to the conferences they requested funds for. Undergraduate students Mansi Agrawal and Maitree Leekha are going to the flagship Artificial Intelligence conference, the 2020 AAAI Conference, this year in New York. Laxmi Pandey, a doctoral student at the University of California, Merced, is going to the ACM SIGIR Conference on Human Information Interaction and Retrieval in Vancouver, Canada. Aurora Macias Ojeda, a doctoral student from Escuela Superior de Ingeniería Informática, Alicete, Spain is going to the International Conference on Software Architecture (ICSA), in Salvador, Brazil.
Our congratulations to all! We hope they will enjoy their meetings very much!
The next application deadline is February 15 for conferences taking place in Apr 1 – May 31, 2020. For more information and to apply visit: https://women.acm.org/scholarships/.
To see previous winners’ trip reports visit https://women.acm.org/scholars/acm-w-scholars/?sch_year=2019
If you have any questions, please contact the scholarship committee chair Prof. Viviana Bono, at email@example.com.
Guest Blog from ACM-W Europe
Starting from November, we are featuring a series of guest blogs from womENcourage 2019 participants. They share with us their career journeys, highlighting the challenges, the aspects of what they love the most, and the ways womENcourage inspires them.
This month’s guest blogger is Elif Akeli, a PhD student at Istanbul Technical University (ITU), Turkey.
“I started my professional journey six years ago. During this time I have worked as both a software developer and a member of the academic staff at the university. I have been fortunate to have a taste of both career paths: industry and academic.
…From the research perspective, I feel engaged and fully absorbed when reading a new publication or testing a new algorithm. Doing research fulfills me. On the other hand, from the teaching assistant perspective, I enjoy working with students who come up with creative ideas and different points of view, for instance, about a specific algorithm. I also like to see how my contribution helps them grow and broaden their knowledge.
…I do not want to say that there is no problem at all with gender imbalance in computing, but I think that self-confidence is a key factor. We should stop comparing ourselves with our male counterparts and keep following our goals.
…Next year, ACM womENcourage will be organized in Baku, Azerbaijan, so get ready to submit your posters! And don’t do like me: I’ve not heard about womENcourage until the last day of the application…”
Read more from Elif on our blog.