Feeds

Cambridge launches mentor group for women tech researchers

Aiming to redress the balance

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

The University of Cambridge has set up a mentoring group to support women in IT and computer science research. Women@CL, was officially launched last night at the Roger Needham Award lecture.

The project's goal is to restore balance to the number of men and women in leadership roles in the academic and industrial worlds. Women account for just one in 20 computing professors, one in eight researchers and one in four PhD students. Despite this, more women (33 per cent) than men (22 per cent) report a desire to take on a leadership role.

The group has devised a programme of career development activities including regional and national workshops, mentoring and networking. Later this month Women@CL is holding a meeting in London, where there will be a series of presentations from women engaged in computer science research.

Professor Ursula Martin, of Queen Mary University of London and director of women@CL, says there are plenty of initiatives to encourage more women to study IT at school and at university. But these peter out once you get into post-graduate or industrial research. She points to a "frosted glass ceiling" in the sector. She says that while it is far from unbreakable, it is sometimes hard to see through.

"The aim of our group is at least partially to fill that void: by celebrating, informing and supporting women in the UK who are, or plan to be, engaged in computing research or academic leadership," she said.

"The business case for having diverse teams to tackle these challenges is clear: diverse teams make better progress. But the opportunities for effective, diverse teams decrease when there are too few women in leadership positions."

The project is funded largely by the EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) but is also backed by Microsoft and Intel's research facilities in Cambridge. ®

Related stories

The case for women in the technology business
IT skills shortage threatens humanity
Schoolkids need science, says Royal Society prez

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists
Researchers, advocates, health workers among those on shot-down plane
Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Eccentric billionaire Musk gets his PRIVATE SPACEPORT
In the Lone Star State, perhaps appropriately enough
MARS NEEDS OCEANS to support life - and so do exoplanets
Just being in the Goldilocks zone doesn't mean there'll be anyone to eat the porridge
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Diary note: Pluto's close-up is a year from … now!
New Horizons is less than a year from the dwarf planet
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.