Diversity and inclusion
Diversity and inclusion
We are committed to developing, maintaining and supporting a culture of diversity and inclusion for all staff and students within our School, including the promotion of our discipline to women and other minority groups. Information on our diversity and other activities can be found below.
AIMS South Africa
Two of our PhD students, Sofiat Olaosebikan and Frances Cooper, gave a talk on their research at a workshop on Discrete Mathematics and its Applications which took place from 24 to 26 January 2018. This workshop, hosted by the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS South Africa), featured presentations by women on their research in various areas of graph theory, graph algorithms, combinatorics and discrete optimisation. The main goals of the workshop were to build a network of African women with common mathematical interests and to increase the visibility of women in mathematics to African students, researchers, and professors.
BCSWomen Lovelace Colloquium
The BSCWomen Lovelace Colloquium is an exciting one day conference for women studying Computing science and related disciplines. In 2017, Alexandrina Pancheva was chosen as one of the successful students who got the chance to present a poster at the 10th anniversary of the event that took place in Aberystwyth.
The keynote of 2017 was Dr Sue Black OBE, founder of BSCWomen and a number of startups. One of her most well known projects is the campaign for saving Bletchley park. Sue gave an overview of her life and career and it was great to see how far she’s got despite the hardships.
One of our other speakers, Carrie Anne Philbin, the director of education at the Raspberry Pi Foundation, talked about the role of the charity and how computing science is being taught. If you want to find more about the Raspberry Pi Foundation, what they are up to, and how to get involved, have a look: www.raspberrypi.org/.
The event concluded with a Q&A panel with representatives from industry and academia. It was interesting to discuss what women consider as the greatest barriers in their careers -- both internal and external -- and how they tackle lack of confidence.
The conference is hosted by a different university every year, so it might not be long before we can welcome promising computing scientists from all over the UK to Glasgow.
Alexandrina said, "The Lovelace Colloquium is an excellent way to present your ideas, gain conference experience as an undergraduate, meet fellow computing scientists and representatives from industry, and get a strong dose of inspiration!"
Find out more at bcswomenlovelace.bcs.org/
Since January 2018, the School has hosted a weekly session of the codefirst:girls coding club. This is a free coding course for undergraduate students who are not currently studying computing. The current cohort includes students from the following schools: Business School (10); Humanities (6); Culture & Creative Arts (5); Mathematics & Statistics (2); Social & Political Sciences (2); Physics & Astronomy (2); Critical Studies (1); Veterinary Medicine (1); Psychology (1); Engineering (1); Chemistry (1).
The photo shows the first codefirst session at Glasgow, in January. Students are being helped with their first coding exercise by tutors Jess, Zeshan, Rhiannan and Fergus.
Find out more at www.codefirstgirls.org.uk
Equality for Women in Science - Why is it Still So Slow?
On May 11th 2018 Paul Walton from the University of York gave a TGIF seminar on
"Equality for Women in Science - Why is it Still So Slow?”
Paul is primarily a chemistry academic but is also an internationally-known advocate of equality in science and lectures widely on the subject. He gave an impassioned talk to over 80 members of academic and research staff and students from throughout the college, prompting animated interaction throughout the talk and lively discussion afterwards. Members of the Athena Swan SAT were able to speak to Paul over lunch to gain pointers towards their next Athena Swan submission.
GU SWiTCH (Glasgow University Society for Women in Tech) was founded in July 2017 and is a society for women in Computing Science/technology. It aims to provide a friendly environment for women to interact through social, career and academic events. So far, the society has organised a number of events - for example, the celebration of Ada Lovelace Day in October, a pub-quiz in December and a mini-hackathon in February. The society currently runs through a Facebook group which can be found at www.facebook.com/groups/guswitch/
Karen Spärck Jones BCS distinguished lecture
On 25 May 2017, the School of Computing Science hosted a livestream of the British Computer Society’s annual Karen Spärck Jones lecture. The lecture was given by Dr Maja Matarić from the University of Southern California, on the topic of “Creating Robots that Care”, and was preceded by an afternoon open demo session of the School’s social robots.
Ladies of Code
The Ladies of Code Glasgow meetup group (https://www.meetup.com/Ladies-of-Code-Glasgow/) holds a monthly event at the School of Computing Science, usually Tuesday evenings 1830 - 2100 hours. The group has been running since 2016. Between 20 and 40 people turn up for most meetings, with a range of backgrounds and experience levels. The group is very friendly and informal, always welcoming new members. Recent topics have included Clojure programming, Raspberry Pi hacking, and Career conversations.
PGR mentoring scheme
In June 2017, we started a School-wide mentoring scheme to support PGR students in matters such as their working environment, progression, and work-life balance. This scheme is available to PGR students as mentees and to postdoctoral researchers as mentors. The mentoring however, does not cover English language skills or proof reading the thesis draft or papers, and the mentor is not to be thought of as 'yet another thesis supervisor'.
As mentors, the postdoctoral researchers support PGR students by sharing their knowledge, skills and understanding regarding postgraduate studies and beyond. This enables the postdoctoral researchers to watch mentees progress whilst further enhancing their leadership skills. Currently this mentoring scheme comprises six pairs of mentor-mentees and we are hoping this number keeps growing. A Mentoring Agreement is entered into between each paired mentor and mentee.
Promoting career development of Glasgow women
On 19 May 2017 a workshop for female specific fellowships was held by our School's Athena Swan committee.
The purpose of this workshop was to promote career development of Glasgow women in the College of Science and Engineering while providing a welcoming support network. Lynne McCorriston talked about applying to (female specific) fellowships, providing us with valuable tips and insights into the process.
Dr Julia Cordero from the Institute of Cancer Sciences shared her experience on successfully securing a Dorothy Hodgkin fellowship in the past.
The event was a great success with more than twenty female participants.
Recent social events
On 9th October 2018 our annual celebration of Ada Lovelace day had over 60 attendees, including inspiring figures from industry. These were Carole Rennie Logan (Ladies of Code Glasgow), Cristina Manolescu (Bloomberg), Ilze Poca (Morgan Stanley), and Ana-Sofia (OBASHI). They gave us an overview of their journey so far and shared tips of how to challenge stereotypes when we face them.
As part of the event a short preview of documentary "CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap" was shown. Find the trailer at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VVb6M8pTvE. The event finished with a lively panel discussion covering issues such as bringing men into equality discussions and the role of positive discrimination.
Mental Health Awareness 2018
We marked the Mental Health Awareness Week 2018 with an informal cake and coffee morning in the common room on the 17th of May. The theme was “Stress: are we coping?”. The purpose of this event was to encourage staff and research students to have a chat and perhaps share some thoughts and experiences on the stresses of University life, or just to grab a little time to "de-stress" amidst a busy morning. A stress relief busting poster was put up on the noticeboard in the common room with slips of paper for people to share their ways of dealing with stress. A poster with all comments collected following this event is displayed in the common room.
International Women's Day #PressForProgress
To celebrate the International Women’s Day 2018, we invited all members of staff and research students on the 8th of March in the common room over cakes and coffee. We reflected on the committee's achievements so far and pledged for more progress in driving diversity and inclusion in the School.
Athena SWAN Awards Ceremony
Members of the Athena Swan SAT attended the Athena Swan awards ceremony held in the Bute Hall in December 2017, helping to celebrate the award success our friends in other SATs throughout the university, as well as those from other universities. The School also contributed two posters (see the SWiTCH poster in the background).