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Women in Informatics Research and Education

The purpose of the Informatics Europe working group "Women in Informatics Research and Education (WIRE)" is to promote actions that help improve gender balance at all stages of the career path in Informatics (Computer Science, Computing).

Women are underrepresented in STEM. For many fields the gap starts after graduation, when women enter professional life and progress in their careers. For Informatics the gender gap starts much earlier and women remain a distinct minority also among those who choose to study in the field.

The lack of women in Informatics and Information and Communication Science and Technology represents a serious treat not only to the discipline but also to the economic and social development of Europe.

New: The second edition of the popular best practice booklet "More Women in Informatics Research and Education" has been released.

 

  • Current WIRE members are:

    Ex-officio

  •  

    • Publication of the best practice booklet "More Women in Informatics Research and Education".  The booklet, now in its second edition, is a compact source of best practices for deans and heads of departments aiming to increase the participation of women in their institution, both as students and as faculty members. Many tips are inspired by colleagues in leading positions who have successfully implemented actions to attract and retain more women in their institution. The booklet is endorsed by the European Commission.

    • The annual Minerva Informatics Equality Award, first issued in 2016.

    • Depository of Best Practices in Supporting Women.

  • Women are underrepresented in all stages of the academic and professional environment in Computing. The higher the ranks, the wider is the gender gap. This issue has been debated extensively. It has motivated numerous initiatives at all levels and sectors of society, including multiple stakeholders, schools, universities, industry, and government. Below is a list with European and worldwide initiatives designed to tackle the challenge of gender balance and to increase female representation in Computing. It also includes relevant European initiatives and projects that address the issue of gender imbalance in science in general. This list is a work in progress, more organisations and initiatives will be added incrementaly. If you would like to suggest additions to this list, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Relevant Blogs

    European Initiatives

    • European Commission's Research and Innovation Gender Equality Policy

    • Hypatia
      Follow up of the project Science: It's a girl thing! (see below) Hypatia is an EU Horizon 2020 funded project that addresses the challenge of gathering different societal actors around bringing more teenagers, especially girls, into STEM careers both in school and as a choice of learning and career in the future. It aims at changing the ways sciences are communicated to young people in and out of school to make them more gender inclusive.The project will produce a toolkit, work around national hubs and organise a series of events. There will also be a campaign targeting teenagers all around Europe. Called “Expect Everything”, it will build on the results achieved by Science it’s a Girl Thing.

    • Science: It's a girl thing!
      First phase of the campaign 'Women in Research and Innovation'  created by the European Comission Research & Innovation Directorate designed to encourage more women to choose research careers. The first phase of the campaign, under the slogan "Science: It's a girl thing!", targets high school girls (aged 13-18) especially those who would not normally be interested in pursuing careers in science and research. Through online and face-to-face activities with inspiring women scientist role models, the campaign aims to reach out  teenagers to give real information about the excitement and challenges of being a professional scientist or engineer. The second phase of the campaign is planned to encourage young women, aged 19-25 at university, to choose research as a career.

    • Portia
      Portia's is non-profit organization working to help women and men have the same opportunities for engagement and advancement in science, across all science disciplines by: 1) promoting cultures that are collaborative and sensitive to gender issues; 2) ensuring that quality of research and innovation is enhanced by addressing gender issues, where relevant; and 3) showing how new ideas and markets for science knowledge can be created by including women as co-owners and co-solvers of problems facing society. Flagship projects include genSET: gender in science and The Gender Summits: Quality Research and Innovation through Equality.

    • genSET - gender in science
      genSET is an innovative project aiming to improve the excellence of European science through inclusion of the gender dimension in research and science knowledge making. It is a forum for sustainable dialogue between European science leaders, science stakeholder institutions, gender experts, and science strategy decision-makers, to help implement effective overall gender strategies.

    • genPort
      GenPORT is a developing online community of practitioners, served by an internet portal and made up of organisations and individuals working across the globe for gender equality and excellence in science, technology or innovation. GenPORT covers all sciences - natural and social sciences, and humanities. GenPORT offers an arena for organisations and individuals to showcase and access the world's best research resources, practical materials, policy briefings, experiences, and much more.

    • epws - European Platform of Women Scientists
      The European Platform of Women Scientists is an international non-profit organisation that represents the needs, concerns, interests, and aspirations of more than 12.000 women scientists in Europe and beyond.

    • Women2020.org
      Women2020 is a partnership supported by top-level Belgian and European public and private-sector organizations, whose mission is to promote women's contribution to achieving the Europe 2020 vision of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. Women2020 is a platform for a multi-stakeholder, cross-generational and public-private sector dialogue in the form of a series of high-level, invitation-only gatherings during the course of 2013.

    • DigitalMuse.org
      DigitalMuse.org is a global collaborative network stimulating girls’ interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and improving their digital skills through creative enterprises such as music & DJ-ing, design & visual arts, video games & software programming, and TV, film & audio production.

    • ACM-W Europe

           ACM-W Europe is a standing committee of ACM Europe and will work to fulfill the ACM-W mission in Europe. The ACM-WE vision is a transformed European professional and scholarly landscape where women                         are supported and inspired to pursue their dreams and ambitions to find fulfillment in the computing field.

     

    International Initiatives

    The Gender Summits are a series of interconnected action based conferences held across the globe under the theme "Quality Research and Innovation through Equality". Their aim is to make gender equality the norm     science and to embed gender as a primary dimension of research and innovation quality.The Summits were established in 2011 in Europe. After that 4  Summits were held; bringing together over 2000 participants and 300 speakers and contributors representing expertise and leadership in policy, gender scholarship, science decision making and industry. In 2015  Summits will be held in Africa, Asia-Pacific and Europe.
     

    WITI was founded  to help women advance by providing access to - and support from - other professional women working in all sectors of technology. WITI started in 1989 as The International Network of Women in Technology and,  in 2001, evolved into The WITI Professional Association, the world's leading trade association for tech-savvy women. Today, WITI is the premiere global organization empowering women in business and technology to achieve unimagined possibilities.

     

    National Initiatives

    France

    • Femmes et Informatique
      A press review about women and informatics. An initiative from and curated by the Société Informatique de France.
      The SIF is a space for reflection and advise on the stakes of computing; a space for action and expansion of the activities based on the work the community carries out, bringing together all those who are passionate about making informatics move forward.

    The Netherlands

    • VHTO, the Dutch National Expert Organisation on Girls/Women and Science/Technology
      VHTO works in many fronts to increase the involvement of women and girls in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Many activities and initiatives involve secondary education students, but VHTO has also in more recent years intensified its activities within higher STEM education. VHTO participates in a great variety of international projects and networks and uses knowledge gained from working with partners abroad to bring best practice into the Netherlands as well as sharing Dutch experiences with international relations.

    Spain

    • Red de Mujeres en Informática (MUIN)
      The goal of the network is to change the current situation in which the female participation in Informatics in Spain does not increase. More concretely the goals are:
      • Increase the presence of Informatics female students
      • Strength the professional/academic career of women in Informatics
      • Organize initiatives related to the women in ICT

     UK

    • Athena SWAN Charter
      The Athena SWAN Charter evolved from work between the Athena Project and the Scientific Women’s Academic Network (SWAN) to advance the representation of women in science, technology, engineering, medicine and mathematics (STEMM).

    • WISE
      WISE's  mission is to increase the gender balance in the UK's STEM workforce, pushing the presence of female employees from 13% as it stands now, to 30% by 2020. Their services are designed to build and sustain the pipeline of female talent in STEM from classroom to boardroom, boosting the talent pool to drive economic growth.

    • Stemettes
      Project to inspire the next generation of females into Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) fields by showing them the amazing women already in STEM via a series of panel events, hackathons, exhibitions, and mentoring schemes.

    The Goal of WiSET is to widen the participation of under-represented groups in science, technology, engineering, maths (STEM) and the built environment. WiSET have developed and delivered a wide range of innovative projects, resources, schemes and activities over more than ten years based on gender and occupational segregation at all levels of education and employment.

     

    USA

    • National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT)
      The National Center for Women & Information Technology is a non-profit community of more than 450 prominent corporations, academic institutions, government agencies, and non-profits working to increase women's participation in technology and computing. NCWIT helps organizations recruit, retain, and advance women from K-12 and higher education through industry and entrepreneurial careers by providing community, evidence, and action.

    • Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology (ABI)
      Since 1997, ABI has developed tools and programs designed to help industry, academia and government recruit, retain and develop women technology leaders. By providing inclusive platforms designed to ensure women’s voices, ideas and spirits will result in higher levels of technical innovation, ABI delivers programs that are changing the world for women and for technology. The Anita Borg Institute seeks to: increase the impact of women on all aspects of technology, and increase the positive impact of technology on the world’s women.

    • CRA-Women
      The goal of the CRA Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research (CRA-W) is to take positive action to increase the number of women participating in Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) research and education at all levels.

    • ACM's Women in Computing
      ACM-W supports, celebrates, and advocates internationally for the full engagement of women in all aspects of the computing field, providing a wide range of programs and services to ACM members and working in the larger community to advance the contributions of technical women.

    • TechWomen
      Harnessing the power of business, technology and innovation, TechWomen brings emerging women leaders in technology sectors from the Middle East and North Africa together with their American counterparts for a professional mentorship and exchange program at leading companies in the United States. TechWomen is an initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). TechWomen works to empower women and girls through technology. It connects and supports the next generation of women in technology sectors by providing them the access and opportunity needed to pursue careers in technology. TechWomen strengthens participants’ professional capacity, expands and diversifies networks of technology professionals in the Middle East and North Africa region, fortifies partnerships and increases mutual understanding between key professional groups in the U.S. and the Middle East and North Africa, and expands girls’ interest in tech-based careers by exposing them to women role models in the technology field.

    • The Ada Initiative
      The Ada Initiative is a non-profit organization helping women get and stay involved in open source, open data, open education, and other areas of free and open technology and culture. It supports women in open technology and culture through activities like producing codes of conduct and anti-harassment policies, advocating for gender diversity, teaching allies, and hosting conferences for women in open tech/culture.

    • Dot Diva
      The Dot Diva / New Image for Computing (NIC) initiative is sponsored by WGBH, one of the oldest and most accomplished producers of public media, and the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the world's oldest and largest educational and scientific computing society. Dot Diva's mission is to create an exciting and positive image of computing for high school girls. Their nationwide survey revealed that not only do the majority of girls think of computing as "boring" and "hard," but they believe it fails to deliver two crucial benefits: "working with others" and "making a difference in other people's lives." Their ultimate goal is to transform this negative perception.

    • Women Who Code (WWCode)
      WWCode is a global nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring women to excel in technology careers by creating a global, connected community of women in technology. Women Who Code was founded in 2011 and has since grown to exceed 12,000 members spanning 14 countries. The organization is best known for its technical study groups, hack nights, career development, and speaking events featuring influential technology industry experts and investors.