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know (or who should know her) in
˲ Find an ACM article about equity
and diversity, read it, and share it with
peers, students, and others.
˲ Talk with peers and at staff meetings about issues of diversity such as
unconscious bias and stereotype threat.
˲ Reach out to colleagues you trust
and ask them to candidly assess if
there are any gender or ethnic/minor-ity biases in the current project.
˲ Ensure all members of a meeting,
regardless of gender, have a chance to
contribute to a discussion by explicitly
inviting contributions from those who
have been silent.
˲Make sure original ideas are
attributed to the person who generated
them. It is frequently true that ideas
offered up by women get remembered
as coming from men.
˲ Seek out a person that most likely
has a background or culture different
from your own. Ask them how they
made their career choice and what persuaded them to stick with a computing career. Use this input to encourage
young women you meet to consider
computer science as a future pathway.
˲ Invite a female colleague to give a
presentation on her work at a weekly
meeting or to a group of students.
˲ Once a month, become familiar
with at least one woman (professor
and/or student) on your campus and
recognize the work they do and the
accomplishments they have made to
their chosen STEM profession. Introduce them to your students, peers, co-workers, friends, and others.
˲ Talk to people you meet from busi-nesses/universities other than your own
about issues of gender equity in their
environments. Take good ideas back
and share them with your colleagues.
Actions that may require more time
or effort or may require the participation
of others in your organization are:
˲ Team up with colleagues and adopt
a local elementary, middle, or high
school class. Visit three to five times a
year and plan sessions and activities
to sensitize/empower young men and
women for inclusiveness.
˲ Use training resources to encourage young women to push back against
negative peer pressure from both women and men that tries to dissuade them
from sticking with computing.
˲ Mentor a female high school or college student interested in computing.
˲Make sure that hiring, tenure,
and promotion committees, as well
as teaching faculty and managers, understand how unconscious bias can
affect their decisions, and help those
groups develop mechanisms to disrupt those biases.
˲ Nominate a female colleague for a
How Can We Foster
January 3, 2018
This post is a follow-up to the article
“Achieving Gender Equity: ACM-W
Can’t Do It Alone,” which appeared in
the February issue of Communications.
If you have not yet read the article, doing so will provide relevant context.
The goal is to elicit thoughts on the
question “What can an individual do
on a day-to-day basis to ensure that her/
his environment fosters inclusiveness?”
When asking this question of ACM-W
Council members, I received a number
of suggestions, some of the “day-to-day”
variety, and others that would require a
bit more time and effort to enact.
Want to quickly achieve a better
understanding of the issues faced by
women in computing and contribute
to more supportive environments for
all computing professionals? You can:
˲ Once a month, reach out to a female colleague you do not know and
ask about the work she does. Then,
introduce her to someone she should
Keeping the Net Neutral
ACM-W chair Jodi Tims offers ways everyone
can promote inclusiveness, while Daniel A. Reed
assesses the debate over Net neutrality.