Diversity

Increasing diversityBy Thomas Robitaille, Freelance, Alice Harpole, University of Southampton, Olivier Philippe, University of Southampton, Louise Brown, University of Nottingham, Clem Tanzi, qLegal, Mateusz Kuzak, Netherlands eScience Center.

This post is part of the Collaborations Workshops 2017 speed blogging series.

There are diverse aspects of diversity, age, ethnicities, disabilities, and so on, however, the most commonly addressed one is the gender. Without taking into account the importance of one or the other aspect, gender has the advantage to be able to be easily assessable. It is easier to measure the situation to a standard and to compare the situation between different projects, careers, conferences, etc. 

However, even if we take the sole issue of gender and its simplified version (binary distinction between male and female), it quickly appears that the context where software developments takes place is already defined by the gender issues at a higher level, such as the representativity in the education field or in the career plan. Therefore, a definition of a standard (directly assessable) is biased, and each event where we try to enforce the diversity should take that into account (see for instance the…

Continue Reading

Most of us recognise that diverse teams are good for productivity and output. But do you know how to improve diversity and build a more inclusive environment? Have you ever heard of unconscious bias, stereotype threat or imposter syndrome? Do you ever feel like you aren’t good enough to be in the community or feel like a ‘fraud’? This WHPC event will discuss the real effects of these three topics on the workplace, providing the audience with an introduction to each theme, how they may affect you and how they impact employers, employees, advisors, managers or your peers.

This event will take place on Wednesday 5th April 10am-3pm (Coffee & Registration from 9.30am) and will encourage audience participation with the use of audience focused discussions based on case studies. This session aims generate lively discussion, generate new and novel approaches to solving some of the challenges we face and we encourage the audience to discuss challenges they have faced both as hirers/managers and as women working with HPC across all research disciplines.

The session welcomes participation from everyone that is interested in discussing improving diversity in the HPC community across all discipline.

This event is organised by Women in HPC as part of the ARCHER Outreach project.

Registration is free at EventbritePlaces are limited, so register early to avoid disappointment.

Focus groups: Alongside this event we will be running 1 hour focus groups that…

Continue Reading

ICT research EPSRC surveyThe Employment Research Institute at Edinburgh Napier University has been commissioned by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to carry out a survey of staff and research postgraduates working or studying –presently or formerly–in disciplines that fall under EPSRC’s Information and Communications Technologies portfolio. 

Why do many women not continue a career in Computing/ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) research? What are the barriers faced by some minority groups, such as black and ethnic minorities, in pursuing a Computing/ICT research career? These are some of the questions included in this survey. EPSRC is investigating what the barriers are, how they manifest themselves and what can be done to support underrepresented groups in ICT. This starts with an an inclusive online survey across the whole ICT research community.

Take the survey before 28th February. 

 

 

DiversityBy Eilis Hannon, Research Fellow in Bioinformatics, in the Complex Disease Epigenetic Group at the University of Exeter.

This post summarises a discussion with Lawrence Hudson, Roberto Murcio, Penny Andrew and Robin Long as part of the Fellow Selection Day 2017.

The question of how to improve diversity is suitably broad and vague to initially induce silence in a group, but eventually, true to its name, it promotes a wide-ranging discussion. Sometimes the task is divided up to target particular under-represented groups, as it starts to become a bit of a minefield to develop a scheme that improves diversity in general. What opens the door to some parts of society can simultaneously close the doors to others. Hackathon events are a common and successful method of attracting young people to computer science; however, if they take place over the weekend and are marketed as providing beer and pizza for sustenance, you start to exclude anyone with caring responsibilities or discourage anyone who doesn’t drink.

Before we can think about trying to improve diversity, it is helpful to consider what exactly do we mean and what are the benefits…

Continue Reading

crowdBy Simon Hettrick, Deputy Director.

I’ve attended a lot of events during my time in academia, but I can think of only one where women outnumbered men (one of the BSA’s Science Communication Conferences). This is not a revelation, of course. It's well known that women are poorly represented at events: as keynote speakers, on expert panels, or just as attendees in general. When I've discussed this issue in the past, I've often been asked "How many women do you expect to see?". It’s a practical question, but not one I've yet seen answered.

Should the first target for an academic event be to simply mirror the population within the event's discipline? I’ve written this blog post with this principle in mind, but also to start a discussion about whether this is indeed a helpful target.​ It occurs to me that people must have already tried this, so I'd also welcome any data on these attempts and whether they successfully improved representation.

We're looking for equality of opportunity throughout academia, but this is a distant proposition in some disciplines. If we aim for representation as a first step, we provide a target that's easy to measure and possible to achieve. If an organiser can prove success at this first target - in other words, that they are representing the gender split in their community - it would help…

Continue Reading

By Toni Collis, Director - Women in HPC.

"What is a good (or bad) percentage of female users of a scientific computing facility?"

In this article, originally published to accompany a talk given at the recent public opening of Grace, UCL's new computing facility, Toni Collis uses this question to look at the diversity of the community in general, focussing on the High Performance Computing (HPC) community that represents the large-scale use of scientific computing. By looking at other studies, including analysing data collected by the Institute about research software use and development in the UK, Toni calls out the things we still need to be aware of if we are to continue to honour the work of pioneering computer scientist Grace Hopper, inventor of the first compiler for a computer programming language.  

Toni Collis is Director of Women in HPC, and works with the Institute's Policy team as a collaborator on…

Continue Reading

By Simon Hettrick, Deputy Director and Policy Lead.

This is the third in a series of blog posts taking you behind the scenes at the Institute. Today, we here about the recent activities of the Policy team.

Thus far in 2015, the efforts of the policy team have mainly been focused on providing data and support for the Institute’s funding bid for a second phase. With this out of the way, July has seen the policy team re-focusing on research. We’ve also had time to catch up with our Research Software Engineer campaign and added a new member of staff.

Surveying further

In October 2014, we ran a nationwide survey to determine researchers’ views on software. We were keen to quickly analyse and publish these results and get the preliminary message out. Due to staff availability, we ended up conducting this first pass analysis in Excel. Although we published our analysis, Excel is not the best package for transparency, which is why we rightly received opprobrium from open-data advocates. But we reasoned that our approach would be acceptable as long as we repeated and extended the work in a more transparent manner in the future.

Our new starter this July, Olivier Philippe, arrived with some serious R skills and was immediately tasked with making the survey analysis…

Continue Reading
Subscribe to Diversity