Year in Review from ACM-W Chair – December 2023

ACM-W Chair Ruth Lennon

It is great to look back on the year to see just how far we have come. This year, new people joined our groups, working groups, and standing committees. The ACM-W has worked to put structures around their work to enable ease of onboarding for new team members. While this work continues, the teams of volunteers across our regions have worked together to present opportunities, talks, scholarships, and networking. The highlights for me each month are presented below, but I am most proud of the joint anniversary celebration of the two ACM-W regions, ACM-W Europe and ACM-W India. The growth of the ACM-W into regions such as Africa and South America is gaining momentum, and I look forward to the day they can celebrate their 10th anniversary.

January was a time to consider new beginnings with a series of videos created by the Ohio State University Student Chapter of the ACM-W. The series helped guide ACM-W Student chapters on creating and growing a chapter using tried and tested techniques.

February invited chapters to become chapter Buddies to strengthen partnerships between chapters to support a common goal. The project encourages collaboration across student chapters, professional chapters, and between chapters in different regions. Chapters can work on a number of activities during the year to share ideas and experiences.

March brought a celebration of technology leaders where experts in various fields share their wisdom to benefit the ACM-W community. In Celebrating Technology Leaders, our Standing Committees chair, Dr Bushra Anjum, invites experts in a variety of fields to share their wisdom for the benefit of the ACM-W community.

We have many Celebrations of Women in Computing held each year, and also, in March, The Ohio Celebration of Women in Computing (OCWIC) boasted 235 attendees from 43 universities and tech companies!

Dr. Manya Ghobadi was announced at the 2023 ACM-W Rising Star in April. Dr. Ghobadi, an Associate Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), spoke of her strong passion for technology driven by the potential of using computation to make a positive impact on society. The impact of awards and scholarships was made ever more clear in this wonderful piece by Dr. Adriana Wilde on how the ACM-W Scholarship helped her attend an event, opening new opportunities for her career.

May put a spotlight on the Trondheim ACM-W Professional Chapter. The work of professional chapters often brings benefits not only to the professionals involved but also to ACM-W student chapters in the area. The Trondheim Chapter connects with students through various projects led by Dr. Jaccheri as well as the recent ACM Celebration of Women in Computing: womENcourageTM 2023.

June was a time for change as the ACM-W Communications Co-Chair Bettina Bair stepped down but never far from the ACM-W. Bettina revolutionised how we reach out to our members. In her farewell interview, she shows how much fun it can be to work with a motivated team on a common goal. Opportunities often arise within our committees, including in the ACM-W regional committees.

The first Indo-European ACM Celebration of Women in Computing: A Decade Celebration was held in July. The collaboration of the two regions showcased experts across their regions, highlighting commonality, and overall, it was a major success in the ACM-W professional network. These collaborations boost the Buddy Project, showing how it can be done at a global level. Well done to Heena, Rukiye, and all involved!

The theme of womENcourage (computing connects everyone) was depicted in a lovely image showing students in intense discussion at a poster session.

August provided an opportunity to consider how computing connects everyone as the womENcourageTM 2023 finalised its preparations. womENcourage exemplifies the positive effect of attending and presenting at an event in a supportive environment. Celebrations of Women in Computing aim to forge links between attendees so that links endure when the event is long over. Building our professional networks brings opportunities that we cannot begin to imagine.

September was a time to hear from our first student chapter buddies. The ACM Bilkent Student Chapter at Bilkent University became buddies with the ATU ACM-W Student Chapter in Ireland. It is amazing that strong links can be established across time zones from one chapter in Ireland to another, 4,297 Km away in Turkiye. The Bilkent Student chapter, established in 2004, is the first ACM-W student Chapter in Turkey, and the ATU ACM-W student chapter (2014) is the first in Ireland. We look forward to many great activities from our first Chapter Buddies!

October provided an opportunity to explore the value of applying for ACM-W scholarships and how they can be used to further your career goals. The scholarship history project team reached out to past recipients to find out where they are now and if they had benefitted from the award. A lovely statement by a recipient highlights the value of scholarships. “Receiving the ACM-W scholarship gave me validation of my abilities at a time when I was not receiving very much from my graduate program.” Remember that scholarships are open for applications. All dates can be found on the ACM-W scholarships page. We look forward to receiving your applications.

Activities in Mexico were the focus of November. The ACM-W North America supported two speakers at a conference that welcomed 40 women from international universities. Congratulations to Dr. Aldeco and Dr. Mirna Muñoz on your talks.  We also encourage you to look at the latest report from the Standing Committee for Gender Equality in Science.

As you read this newsletter, you can see that more activities are ongoing. Perhaps in the seasonal break, you may find time to look at new opportunities within the ACM-W. Have you considered applying for senior membership? We would love to see more women applying. The ACM-W is here to support, celebrate, and advocate for you.

I wish you all a peaceful and supportive year ahead.

Ruth G. Lennon

ACM-W Chair

Summer Message from the ACM-W Chair – June 2023

Ruth G. Lennon

This June I was very pleased to meet the ACM-W Executive Committee at the ACM Headquarters in New York. Our committee is made up of representatives from all ACM-W regions around the world with industry and academia working hand in hand to support our goals.  The committee operates at multiple levels to improve the support for women in computing and related fields. We celebrate, advocate and support women in their careers and work-life balance.

This year we have announced the “Above and Beyond Scholarship Project“, following the career path of our previous winners. Read more about this successful series of scholars that have gone Above and Beyond Scholarship. Our ACM-W Europe region celebrated its 10-year anniversary, and so did the ACM-W India region. The two regions held a combined event on Thursday the 22nd of June to mark the anniversaries. This is the first of many joint events to be held across regions.

Many thanks to the volunteers in our working groups globally and across regions. It is through their work that our mission is achieved at the ground level. Our regional committees are always open to welcome new volunteers.

All of the hard work of the committees is paying off with their effort focused each year on the objectives necessary to achieve our mission. This year we celebrate diversity through the following objectives:

  1. Enhancing the collaboration of the ACM-W with ACM entities and SIGs
  2. Strengthening our community globally and
  3. Improving and promoting our value proposition

These objectives were selected in order to ensure that our members obtain the greatest value possible from their ACM-W membership. We believe that ACM-W provides opportunities to explore new career prospects, network on a global level, and gain value in their interactions with us. We invite you to reach out to us to discuss how you have gained value from the ACM-W. We would love to hear how you can help others. Let’s work together to make the change we want to see.

ACM-W EC at ACM NY headquarters

Message from ACM-W Chair – April 2023

Ruth G. Lennon

ACM-W Events Await You

Welcome to the April edition of the ACM-W Newsletter. The sun is out, events are on, so now is the time to get out there and make the most of your ACM-W membership. This month has seen a number of ACM-W activities including the New York Celebration of Women in Computing (NYCWIC ’23). What a great event! It is lovely the support of industry through speakers Lori Bajorek, President and CEO of the National Esports Association and E. Maria Boonie, Vice President of IBM Z Support and Client Care. Celebrations continue to run this year with the support of funding from our sponsors. Whether it is our series of webinars, celebrations or activities our focus is on supporting, celebrating, and advocating for women in computing it is through our community activities where we collaborate, share, and establish our own personal networks. To help you achieve your networking goals the ACM-W provides Computer Science Research Conference Scholarships. These scholarships recognize the needs of women across the globe to reach out to each other attend events where you can forge new research partnerships. The primary ACM-W scholarships are divided between scholarships of up to $600 for intra-continental conference travel, and scholarships of up to $1200 for intercontinental conference travel. Applications are evaluated six times per year to enable our members to apply for events all year around.  We encourage our members to look at the ACM events calendar to seek out a conference in your field and apply for one of our scholarships. Perhaps you want to be more involved? If you want to volunteer in your regions, find how you can reach out to your local regions here: Europe – chair Rukiye Altin, India – chair Heena Timani and North America – chair Lindsey Jamieson. If you would like to run a celebration, start a chapter and run new activities, you might want to consider teaming up with another chapter to encourage networking. The Buddy Project is a great way to find other chapters to work with. Arati Dixit and Nutan Limaye, ACM-Women regional activities chairs, can work with you to find a buddy chapter. However you get here, I hope you will join us for one of our events this year.

See you soon!

Ruth Lennon

Chair of ACM-W

A Message from the ACM-W Chair

Today the ACM-W is thinking of our members in Turkey and Syria in the aftermath of the earthquakes. Mothers seeking children, sisters seeking siblings, men, women and children facing an uncertain future. Throughout the world, women face difficult times and need our support. Sometimes support may mean help in accessing education; other times, it may mean obtaining the necessities to survive the next day.  In this time of crisis, we urge everyone to come together and extend a helping hand to those in need. We believe that together we can make a difference in the lives of those affected.

Once again, we hold you all in our thoughts at this time.

Ruth G. Lennon
ACM-W Chair

A New Year’s Message from the Chair – January 2023

Ruth G. Lennon
ACM-W Chair

Welcome to this edition of the ACM-W Newsletter. The ACM-W “supports, celebrates, and advocates” for the full participation of women in all aspects of computing. How do we do that? We provide a network to support greater dialogue on technical and professional topics. This network of volunteers, members and supporters come together to increase women’s visibility in computing and empower girls and women to pursue leadership positions in the field. We celebrate the activities of our members, highlighting their excellent work and advocating for their recognition.

Many of you may have heard me speak of the importance of ‘one small step’. One small step can make a significant impact. So please apply for the ACM-W scholarship or rising star award, ACM senior membership or attend the Heidelberg Laureate Forum. We need to see more women successfully recognised for their work. If you have any questions, you can always contact our team to find out how. The ACM-W committee are always happy to help you.

As we head into 2023, I am confident we can further our mission to make computing equitable and accessible for all. I am thankful for your dedication and commitment to ACM-W, and I look forward to a productive new year!


Greetings from the ACM-W Chair – September 2022

Ruth G. Lennon

Welcome to this edition of the ACM-W Newsletter. Today we thank all of the members of the ACM-W from around the world for their continued support. The ACM-W has grown in scale and diversity over the years, strengthening our mission to support, celebrate and advocate internationally for the full engagement of women in all aspects of the computing field. As we continue to grow, we face new challenges. we must strengthen our communities and build our leadership across our community to face these challenges together. 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Reyyan Ayfer for her long dedicated service to the ACM-W. Her work in establishing the ACM-W Europe has led to many initiatives which have benefitted our members far and wide. As we celebrate the 10th Anniversary of ACM-W Europe, we welcome the new ACM-W Europe Chair, Rukiye Altin. We hope you will join us in our celebrations which run throughout the year.

I am also delighted to introduce Nutan Limaye as our new Regional Activities Co-Chair. Nutan brings a strong knowledge of the activities of the ACM-W and new ideas for the development of our regions. We welcome our new leadership and team members across regions. We invite you to apply for roles in our team as they arise. Join us in making an impact through the promotion of diversity, inclusion and a sense of belonging for all of our members. 

Thank you for your continued support and commitment to diversity.

Ruth G. Lennon
ACM-W Chair

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

Welcome from the ACM-W Chair

Welcome to a new year of ACM-W activity!  This promises to be a year of much transition and change on many fronts.  The first of those is that this newsletter, which had been appearing in your inbox monthly for many years, is (with this issue) transitioning to a quarterly publication.  We feel this change will enable our communications team and the volunteers that lead our many projects to compile deeper and more interesting articles about the exciting things that are happening globally.  In the coming months, we also will be transitioning the format of the email to more of a “digest” approach (think ACM-W Tech News, e.g.) in order that readers may be introduced to each article on the email with the option to read the full article posted on our web site.

As the newsletter transitions both in format in content, we invite you to stay connected to ACM-W in an ongoing manner by connecting into our Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter feeds.  We use those channels to post timely articles and information that are valuable resources for the women in computing community and to boost postings made by our various regional committees and student chapters.  So use the links at the bottom of this newsletter to tap in and stay connected!

It is my pleasure as we begin this new year to introduce two new members of our ACM-W leadership team – Chunlei Tang (Co-Treasurer) and My Thai (Standing Committees Co-Chair). You can learn more about Chunlei and My via their biographies that appear later in this newsletter. 

There are two additional changes to our global leadership efforts.  Arati Dixit, who had served the past two years as Standing Committees Co-Chair, has transitioned to the positions of Region Committees Co-Chair, a new position that will provide additional assistance to support our growing global community.  For the past two years, Reyyan Ayfer has capably led the regional committees chairs in ACM-W Asia-Pacific, ACM-W Europe, ACM-W India, and ACM-W North America.  With increasing ACM-W activity occurring in Africa and South America, Arati’s partnership with Reyyan will assist in the onboarding of these new regions to ACM-W.  Much more on that upcoming in the next year.

Nutan Limaye, formally Vice Chair of ACM-W India, has accepted a newly created position of Global ACM Celebrations Chair. In this role, Nutan will support the ongoing efforts of our regional committee Celebrations chairs and also assist those organizing events outside of regions where ACM-W has established committees.  We are excited to have Nutan involved and look forward to continued growth of the project in the coming year.

Another exciting development this year is the launch of the ACM-W Chapter Five Star (5*) Buddy System.  This project was proposed by Arati Dixit and approved by the ACM-W leadership team in July to launch this fall with a goal of virtually connecting ACM-W chapters with other chapters and SIGs and fostering shared understanding of the global impact that ACM and ACM-W are having on behalf of women in computing.  You can learn more about this project in a full article below.

Additional project information:

  • Nominations for the ACM-W Rising Star award are open until October 30th. Visit our website (https://women.acm.org/awards/rising-star-award/) for more information, including a link to the nominations form
  • Google renews support for the ACM-W Scholarships program (see below)
  • ACM-W Professional Chapters report by Rachelle Hippler (see below)
  • Next ACM-W Celebrating Technology Leaders webinar on October 21st (see below)

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

Jodi Tims
ACM-W Chair

ACM-W thanks Google!

Google has been a steadfast supporter of our Scholarships project for many years. ACM-W has received a donation of $20,000 from Google that will provide funding for students to attend technical conferences in the coming year.  We are very grateful for this generous support. For more information on the Scholarships project and the application deadlines for this year, please visit our website (https://women.acm.org/scholarships/).

Welcome from the ACM-W Chair – June 2021

We’ve reached the end of another year of programming for ACM-W. And what a year it has been!  In spite of the challenges we’ve faced, ACM-W activity worldwide continued in the form of virtual Celebrations, Chapter activities, and our webinar series, Celebrating Technology Leaders. My heartfelt thanks to those who worked hard and used creativity to ensure that we could continue to support, celebrate and advocate for all women in computing.

As has become customary, the ACM-W leadership team will be taking a little time off in the coming weeks and then working in earnest to plan for the next year’s activities.  Consequently, there will not be a newsletter in July or August, but we’ll look forward to connecting again in September.

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

Jodi Tims, ACM-W Chair

Welcome from the ACM-W Chair – April 2021

by Jodi Tims, ACM-W Chair

“There is no such thing as a free lunch” – or so the saying goes.  In spring of 2012, I accepted the invitation of Gloria Townsend, then ACM-W Celebrations Chair, to attend an ACM-W luncheon at the close of the SIGCSE Technical Symposium.  Prior to this time, my knowledge of ACM-W was focused primarily on the Celebrations project as I had been serving in various positions on the organizing committee of the Ohio Celebration (OCWiC).  Little did I realize, I would walk out of the luncheon that day having agreed to take on the role of Celebrations Chair as Gloria transitioned to the role of Chapters Chair.  Over the next few years, we saw rapid global growth in both of these projects.  In subsequent years, I served as ACM-W Vice Chair and worked alongside Valerie Barr, then ACM-W Chair, learning the ins and outs of leading a global women-in-computing organization through the inspiring example that Valerie set.  As I assumed the role of ACM-W Chair, I was humbled to have the honor and privilege to work alongside many capable members of our leadership team that are the heart and soul of ACM-W.  As I reflect back over my involvement with this organization, I can honestly say that that lunch in 2012 turned out not to be free, but the efforts I have invested in ACM-W have led me on a truly amazing journey that I will be forever grateful to have taken.

ACM-W Committee Volunteer Opportunities

If you have a passion for supporting, celebrating and advocating for women in computing, I invite you to consider joining the ACM-W Leadership Team.  We are currently looking for enthusiastic volunteers to fill two vacant positions:

  • Standing Committees Co-Chair – this role oversees ACM-W’s standing committees of Professional Chapters, Scholarships, and the Rising Star Award Committee. In addition, standing committees chairs determine the creation of new standing committees or ad hoc committees that are formed to address shorter term efforts.
  • Treasurer Co-Chair – this role oversees the operating budget of ACM-W and works with the ACM-W Chair to develop strategies for fundraising and philanthropic activity on behalf of the organization.

The selected applicants will serve a two-year term of office beginning July 1, 2021 and ending June 30, 2023.  Leadership terms can be extended for one additional term depending upon the approval of the ACM-W Chair.

Nominations can be submitted via this form, https://forms.gle/K9LpCzAGbUeKswkk6, and will be accepted until May 20, 2021.  Individuals may self-nominate.  We ask that nominations on behalf of others be made only if the individual is willing to accept the nomination.

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

Welcome from the ACM-W Chair

On March 8th we celebrated International Women’s Day.  In some countries, the entire month of March is designated as Women’s History Month.  In ACM-W, we celebrate, support and advocate for women in computing year-round.  But at this time of the year, we are especially reminded of the hard work and sacrifices of so many women over the years to ensure that women’s rights and opportunities continue to advance.  Each of us, on an individual level, likely has one or more women who have played a vital role in our lives.  I encourage all ACM-W supporters to take a few moments to send a note of thanks to those women who helped you achieve your personal and professional goals.

I personally want to thank the champions of ACM-W – the multitude of volunteers who lead student and professional chapters, plan Celebrations, and serve on ACM-W committees worldwide.  I particularly want to thank those on our ACM-W Leadership Team – Bushra Anjum, Reyyan Ayfer, Bettina Bair, Valerie Barr, Amelia Cole, Arati Dixit, Sarah McRoberts, Pat Ryan, and Yuqing Melanie Wu.   ACM-W would not be able to pursue its goals without your dedicated service.  I feel honored to work alongside you.

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

Jodi Tims
ACM-W Chair

Welcome from the ACM-W Chair

Each month we feature a member of the ACM-W leadership team. This month’s feature comes from Bushra Anjum, Standing Committees Co-Chair, with an interview about her involvement with Celebrating Technology Leaders, a webinar project of her own creation.  Bushra is a software engineer at Amazon, San Luis Obispo and doximity, San Francisco County. Bushra was part of the inaugural inductees of ACM’s Future of Computing Academy and brings her enthusiastic spirit to bear in numerous volunteer efforts on behalf of women and girls in computing.  You can learn more about Bushra’s impact at bushraanjum.info.

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

Jodi Tims
ACM-W Chair