The Women / Diversity in MM Lunch

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The Women / Diversity in MM Lunch at ACM MULTIMEDIA 2017 (previously the Women’s Lunch) will be held on the first day of the main conference, Tuesday 24th October at 12pm, at the Computer History Museum.  Sponsored by SIGMM, the aim of the event is to build community among underrepresented groups (e.g. women/minorities) who attend the conference and to broaden participation. If you want to attend the lunch, please go to your registration and select the “Women / Diversity in MM Lunch”. There is a symbolic  fee of $5 associated with the lunch, in order to get a true count of attendees and avoiding wasting food. Please make your selection in your registration by Oct 9th, 2017. If you have already registered, go back to it and add this selection if you want.

The lunch will feature mentoring circles with senior members of the research community acting as “table captains” to facilitate introductions, lead discussions, and encourage the sharing of personal stories, including their own.

The lunch is open to any conference attendee, of any gender, who cares about diversity and inclusion in our field and who has an interest in learning more, supporting the community and perhaps helping in some way.

In addition to the in-table discussions led by the table captains, the lunch will also feature two briefings on inclusion-related topics.

Harvey Mudd College, in Claremont, Southern California, has bucked the trend in producing female graduates in Computer Science for about the last decade. Now there are more women than men graduating with a degree in computer science at HMC whereas elsewhere in the US, that percentage is less than 20%. HMC has achieved this by removing obstacles that have typically barred women—including at the faculty level.  Katherine Breeden is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Harvey Mudd College and will speak on inclusion efforts at Harvey Mudd covering what works and what contributes to making successfully gender-balanced classes at the College.

Athena Swan (Scientific Women’s Academic Network) is a charter established in 2005 in the UK which recognises efforts made towards advancing gender equality in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employment in higher education and in research.  It was recently extended beyond STEMM to cover Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.  It started in the UK but is now spreading to other countries. Over the last decade it has made over 1,000 recognition awards to Universities, Departments, Faculties and Research centres. The importance of the Athena Swan system, covering Bronze, Silver and Gold awards, has now become of mainstream importance since several research funding agencies in Europe have announced that they now require certain certified levels of gender equality in order to award research funding.  Prof Noel O’Connor from Dublin City University will present an overview of Athena Swan, its various levels of recognition and the experiences of DCU in achieving a bronze award earlier this year in recognition of its commitment to advancing gender equality for women across campus and creating cultural change within the university.

The coordinator of the Women / Diversity in MM Lunch is Alan Smeaton, our new SIGMM chair. Please contact him if you have further questions.


Lexing Xie (Australian National University)

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