BCSWomen Lovelace 2022 happened! It happened online, again, for the third time. Little did I realise that when we moved 2020 online due to threat of COVID and lockdown, I’d be chairing Lovelace 2022 online whilst actually suffering from COVID. I cannot recommend the experience of hosting a conference and being ill with COVID. From our core team of 4, one had been off with a virus in the run up and two of us had COVID so the whole event was a bit snotty. I’ve written a detailed account here: https://bcswomenlovelace.bcs.org/?page_id=398 so if you want to see who won and watch the talk videosRead More →

I’ve recently finished reading “What Works: Gender Equality by Design”, a book by Iris Bohnet out on Harvard University Press and it’s one of the best books on gender matters that I’ve read recently. I can seriously recommend it. She takes a clear topic for each chapter and looks at the literature on behaviour change and design around that topic, considering a broad range of evidence from psychology, anthropology, economics and business to craft a wide research base from which to recommend behaviour modification strategies to support equality. The general idea comes from behavioural design, which is the field of “nudge” units and subtle designRead More →

I’ve published lots of writing – articles in journals and conference proceedings, mainly. Also quite a few magazine articles and one poem (aged 14, in the Skateboarding magazine RAD, but that’s a different story). Last week our book came out so now I can say I am a published author. It’s taken a while – over a year in total, with 6 authors collaborating online – but today I got the paper copies and so it feels a bit more real. The book aims to be a handbook and a practical guide – so if you are interested in diversity and more importantly interested inRead More →

The BCSWomen Lovelace Colloquium was supposed to be in Stirling this year. As ever, we’d put a lot into it (visits, campus tours, looking around poster spaces and theatres, booking rooms, choosing lunches, block booking hotels, etc. etc.) but as the event grew nearer and the pandemic grew stronger we had to decide: cancel, or move online. Which is how we found ourselves organising the first virtual BCSWomen Lovelace Colloquium with just 4 weeks’ notice. This was a big job and pulling it together took a lot of people. There are a few blog posts out there which deal with the conference as a wholeRead More →

On April 17th, we held the 12th BCSWomen Lovelace Colloquium (The Lovelace) at the University of Salford. Regular readers of this blog will know that this is a conference for women undergraduate and taught MSc students studying computing and related subjects, and that I started the conference in 2008 handing it over to The Awesome Doctor Helen Miles in year 10; now she’s the conference chair and I’m the deputy. What this means in practice is that Helen and I have a very busy couple of weeks in the run up to the event – students don’t have funds to travel to conferences, generally, andRead More →

The 11th BCSWomen Lovelace Colloquium was held just before Easter, at the University of Sheffield with support from Sheffield Hallam University. Regular followers of this blog will know that the day has a well-defined format, with student posters, speakers, a panel on computing careers, and a social at the end of the day. We also have a cake sponsor, so we also have too much cake. This was the first colloquium since I started the conference in 2008 where I wasn’t in some sense the conference chair. Cardiff, in 2010, was chaired by Miki Burgess (and I didn’t even make it to the event), butRead More →

BCSWomen Chair Sarah Burnett has had a fab idea, which is to hold a series of webinars that talk about AI and how it is changing the world. In BCSWomen we do a lot of stuff about the women, and a lot of stuff to support women, but we also do a lot of stuff that is useful for tech people in general. The AI Accelerator falls into this category; the idea is that tech is changing and AI is driving that change, so we’re going to try and provide a background and overview of AI to help people get to grips with this. OnceRead More →

The 10th BCSWomen Lovelace Colloquium was held on April 12th, at Aberystwyth University. Around 200 attendees enjoyed a day of inspiring talks, fascinating student posters, careers advice, employers fair, lots of networking and too much cake. Our headline sponsor this year was Google, who covered loads of the student travel and also sent a speaker along. As we pay for travel for all the poster contest finalists and as we were in Aberystwyth this year, we paid for 2 nights for everyone. This enabled us to have a social the night before, with Scott Logic providing a hackathon activity which got people talking and codingRead More →

The BCSWomen Lovelace Colloquium is a one-day conference for women undergrad and masters students in computing. The centrepiece of the day is a poster contest, and to enter the contest all students need do is write a short abstract (250 words). I started this conference, back in 2008, and run it every year in different universities around the UK. Last year we had just over 150 attendees, and this year we’re hoping to beat that. SO in March this year we’ll be at Sheffield Hallam Uni, with support from the University of Sheffield, and we’ve got a great speaker lineup coming together – I’ll probablyRead More →

Employers who want to change the gender ratio within their workforce have some difficult problems to solve. First amongst these problems is the size of the pool you’re fishing from: there just aren’t that many computer science women to choose from, so finding women who come ready for the workforce can be hard. Obviously you can look outside of the computing grad population – either look for non-grads and apprentices, or look for a broader range of degree subjects – but being a computer science lecturer I’m pretty convinced of the value of a computing degree. And many of the employers we talk to likeRead More →