chapter meeting, May 2014

As Deha was unable to attend, Joe acted as secretary this month. Blatant misrepresentations of the facts in the following summary are:

  1. likely, because he forgot once or twice that he was taking notes, and
  2. solely his responsibility.

Action points:

  1. new working group: gender balance among computing students (TBD)
  2. new working group: publicity (Noric, Joe, Deha, Maria, +?)
  3. present mentor program at Action Day on Friday
  4. some sort of formal document sharing arrangement
  5. recruit speakers for local event in September
  6. find volunteers to fill empty positions for womENcourage 2015
  7. have some poster designs ready for the autumn

Mentoring Program (Daniel)

The program is nearly ready to be launched, pending some final review:

  • Daniel has asked for feedback an the sign-up forms from several people, to make sure nothing is offensive.
  • Concern about positive discrimination: don’t want to give the impression that the program is unfairly privileging women
    • Suggested that the focus of the program be on providing mentors for groups with high drop-out rates; women being one example of such a group.
  • Daniel has been in contact with Arnold Pears regarding the department’s plans for outreach to potential female applicants.
    • Arnold will provide statistics about male/female enrollment and drop-out rates in the department
  • Other ACM groups which have tried mentoring programs have posted “lessons learned” type information, running to some 200 pages (?)

Next steps:

  • Time to start signing up mentors from the university
    • external mentors can come later, if there is a high enough demand for the program

Inspiration Days

This Friday, there is an Inspiration Day event for women who have applied to (programs at TekNat? Engineering? Does someone have a link to this?).

  • Andreina has booked a 20 minute time slot for the chapter to give a presentation (15 minutes + 5 for questions)
    • Polacksbacken 1111, 15:00-15:20
  • We agreed that we should at least present the mentoring program there (or even allow students to sign up?)
  • Problem: the rest of the proceedings will be in Swedish, and none of the Swedish speakers present were available to attend that day.
    • We’ll just have to run this one in English.
    • For the future, we ought to line up some Swedish speakers who are available to talk to incoming high school students.

Aside: computer science?

We had a short discussion about the term “computer science.” Consensus seemed to be that while it may be an umbrella term in English, in Swedish it seems more specifically theoretic. Björn suggested “computing” (which goes along well with “ACM’s Women in Computing”, incidentally), which seems more inclusive. We all agreed that we need to make an effort to include computing departments/groups from outside the IT department (e.g., the NLP group in Linguistics, and Game Design at the Gotland campus).

New working group: gender imbalance in IT programs

(Someone should propose a catchier title for this group, incidentally.)

There was a lot of interest in enrollment, drop-out rates, etc. We decided to form a working group for those interested in related issues. Goals:

  • Gather the statistical information
  • Make some contacts at the University
  • Produce an informal report (i.e., a blog post, probably) on the findings

There was a show of hands for those interested, but the (acting) secretary is a slow note taker, so the exact list of those who raised their hands has unfortunately been lost to the dim and misty past. We’ll use the mailing list to determine who is interested, and proceed from there.

Local Event (Farshid)

Farshid reported and the progress regarding the local event next autumn:

  • intro day in week 36, and a follow-up in week 41.
  • Virginia has arranged some speakers, and is contacting more
  • We need to finalize the agenda, and settle the dates
    • some concern that week 36 is too early to successfully promote the event at the start of the term
  • The gender equity group is providing some financial assistance for:
    • food
    • some sort of prize for contests
      • movie tickets at minimum
      • possibly a Bokus gift card

Publicity (Maria, Noric)

We did some brainstorming about how to publicize the group.

  • Noric is working on some poster ideas
    • possibly we’ll see some rough ideas soon
  • Maria has several ideas for how we can maximize our online publicity

A few ideas we floated:

  • We should agree on logo/presentation standards, so that there is some unifying influence on all our publicity
  • it is not too early to gather a list of faculty who are willing to (tenatively) agree to advertise us on their office doors.
    • Nina volunteered to ask around at NLP
  • There are two different groups we want to reach:
    • people interested in computing
    • people interested in gender equality

As there was clearly a lot to discuss, we decided to form a working group and move on. Details forthcoming.

womENcourage 2015 update

Andreina and Virginia are organizing the next womENCourage conference, which will be here on September 24-26, 2015.

  • Volunteers needed!
    • Several important positions need to be filled (local organization, primarily)
    • Also will be needing volunteers to help with smaller tasks
    • And attending the conference!
  • Maria and Nina will ask around their respective departments to see if there are faculty who would be interested in helping.


There is a list of activity proposals up on the chapter web page. We talked about a few of them.

  • Programming club/hackathon/etc:
    • Björn points out that the IT students already arrange this sort of thing, so we should try to work with them
    • We could maybe participate in an existing international competition
  • We should try to have a BBQ or picnic in the autumn.


  • We may try to have a final meeting for the year in early June (possible a BBQ?)
  • We have a lot of people generating material now, and its a little scattered. We’ll try to make things a little more accessible.
  • No one could come up with a reason that the minutes of the monthly meetings should not be put up on the blog. So, there we are, then.

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