This blog post is a follow-up to the article "Achieving Gender Equity: ACM-W Can't Do It Alone," which appears in the February edition 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 the ACM-W Council members, I received a number of suggestions, some of which are of the "day-to-day" variety, and others which 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:
Actions that may require more time or effort to enact or may require the participation of others in your organization are:
Please contribute your ideas to this posting. ACM-W will feature the ideas generated on our Web page and in other publications. This will help us empower all computing professionals to do their part in transforming ACM into the premier example of a professional organization committed to gender equity.
Jodi Tims is chair of ACM-W, ACM'S Council on Women in Computing, which 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.
One of the things I think is important is if you manage a group of students that do some level of community outreach (tech camps, school visits, etc), it is important to ensure you have a diverse group of students. Not only will it help the target audience relate to those students and be more comfortable asking them questions, but it will also give your group different perspectives and ideas.
Use GenderMag to find and fix gender biases in the software you create. Using GenderMag gets diversity and inclusion into your organization's day-to-day conversations, and communicates that diversity and inclusion is part of everyone's "day jobs". GenderMag is freely available to everyone: http://gendermag.org.
I am really pushing to get us to 30% female faculty. Frankly, I don't care if there is a male who is slightly more "qualified" by some arbitrary metric. Being able to help the department get to a more equitable perspective is at least as useful a qualification as 3 extra papers...
Adding to a suggestion above...
"Ensure that 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."
Be sure to let the group know in advance that you'll be calling on every individual to contribute to the conversation. Nobody likes to feel ambushed.
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