Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Anyone, from any background, should feel encouraged to participate and contribute to ACM. Differences – in age, race, gender and sexual orientation, nationality, physical ability, thinking style and experience – bring richness to our efforts in providing quality programs and services for the global computing community.
ACM is committed to creating an environment that welcomes new ideas and perspectives, and where hostility or other antisocial behaviors are not tolerated.
ACM is celebrating 2024 Black History Month with an interactive Q&A video series! Join us for an enlightening journey as computing students around the world pose burning questions to Black experts in tech, and watch as they share their wisdom and experiences as they address questions such as what role does technology play in addressing social issues, how can a diverse perspective enhance the impact of technological issues, how do you envision the future of computing in terms of inclusivity and diversity, among others.
View a video about the life of Alan Mathison Turing (1912–1954).
The ACM-W Rising Star Award recognizes exceptional women or non-binary individuals whose early-career research has had a significant impact on the computing discipline, as measured by factors such as frequent citation of their work, creation of a new research area, a high degree of technology transfer, and/or other positive influences and societal impact. Self-nominations are encouraged. The award is given annually, and the recipient will receive a framed certificate and a $1,000 stipend. Nominations close on March 31, 2024.
President Joe Biden honored University of Florida computer science professor and ACM Fellow Juan Gilbert at the White House with the National Medal of Technology and Innovation for pioneering a universal voting system that makes voting more reliable and accessible for everyone and for increasing diversity in the computer science workforce. The National Medal of Technology and Innovation, or NMTI, is the nation’s highest honor for technological achievement, bestowed by the president of the United States on leading innovators for their outstanding contributions to America’s economic, environmental and social well-being. You can view the event here.
ACM is deeply committed to fostering a scientific community that both supports and benefits from the talents of community members from a wide range of backgrounds. To this end, ACM has adopted new demographic questions developed by ACM’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council to understand current levels of participation and to gauge our success at advancing DEI. It is mandated that they be used throughout ACM for all activities, and responses will be required from all ACM authors, reviewers, conference attendees, volunteers, and members. Please take the time to fill out your questionnaire today.
In this Tapia Conference panel, ACM CEO Vicki Hanson moderates a discussion with ACM Awards Committee Co-Chair Roy Levin and Awards Committee members Stephanie Ludi (University of North Texas) and Timothy Pinkston (University of Southern California) concerning the need to nominate deserving and diverse individuals for Awards and ACM Advanced Member Grades (Distinguished Members and Fellows). This panel provides an understanding of ACM’s Awards process from submission to selection, with specific tips for working as a community to develop nominations.
Recent advancements in AI have introduced many to its immense potential and functionality. However, how are AI technologies impacting different communities around the world? View the panel, "A Global Perspective on Contemporary AI," featuring Alain Tchana from the LIG laboratory, Kalika Bali from Microsoft Research India, Nadia Rodríguez Rodríguez from the University of Lima, and Aboubakar Mountapmbeme from the University of North Texas. Their discussion explores the crucial need to involve the global community in AI development and the inclusion of underrepresented cultures in its coding to make AI accessible to all.
DEI is now a globally-established concept—but what does that concept mean to around the globe? Here, several ACM luminaries who have lived on multiple continents briefly discuss how diversity, equity, and inclusion varies in their experience,. They also offer examples of how potentially marginalized communities—based possibly on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, physical ability, nationality, cultural background, religion, age, or other aspects—can be similar and how they can vary. Read the Viewpoint article in the December 2022 issue of Communications of the ACM.
Every computing student deserves a chance to see themselves in computing, irrespective of demographics, interests, or socioeconomic status. Real-life stories of people finding success after repeated setbacks help students see how and why they persevere. In her article, “The Lives of Hidden Figures Matter in Computer Science Education,” Tiffani Williams, co-chair of ACM's Standing Committee on Systemic Change, provides examples of how computer science educators can incorporate stories of struggle and growth into the classroom and make CS more welcoming for everyone. Read her Viewpoint article in the February 2022 issue of Communications of the ACM.
Most ACM members reside outside the United States, with varying diversity issues around the world. In "An Analysis of Black Faculty in CS Research Departments," Juan E. Gilbert, et al. thought it would be enlightening to do a case study on one marginalized group in the US in the hopes that the lessons learned could be helpful to other groups and in other regions. This particular case study is on the education origins of African-American faculty members in Computer Science (CS) at US universities. Learn about the results and the authors' conclusions in the February 2023 issue of Communications of the ACM.
Machine Learning has tremendous potential for developing tools to improve efficiency and accuracy in decision-making. However, ML also has the potential to lead to outcomes that reinforce human biases, disproportionately impact vulnerable populations, and violate notions of privacy. View the panel "Confronting Ethical Challenges in a High-Tech World," with Mehran Sahami and moderators Fay Cobb Payton and Susan Reiser as they explore some of the promise and perils that arise from Machine Learning to understand both some of the ethical issues and competing value trade-offs at stake.
View the webinar “Language Matters: DEI and the Question of URM,” featuring Nicki Washington of Duke University and Tiffani L. Williams of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in discussion on the importance of language to promote inclusive environments for work and study. The webinar was organized by the ACM Education Board’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Computing Education Task Force and ACM’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council, and was moderated by DEI-CE co-chair Fay Cobb Payton.
ACM Education Board’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Computing Education Task Force and ACM’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council, for the webinar "Power On! Addressing Issues of Equity and Youth Agency in Computing Education Through a Graphic Novel for Educators and Students." Authors Jane Margolis and Jean Ryoo offered insights on how students of all ages can become more aware of the ethical complexities of technology and how technology intersects with systemic inequality and racism. DEI-CE co-chairs Fay Cobb Payton and Susan Reiser moderated.
This talk was a follow-up to the April 19, 2023 webinar with Mehran Sahami of Stanford University, "Confronting Ethical Challenges in a High-Tech World." Sahami and a panel of AI-ML experts from industry and academia—Tulsee Doshi, Susan Epstein, and Kush Varshney—explored some of the ethical questions raised in that session including the role of human values in AI algorithms, bias in AI-ML and the impact of diverse teams in reducing bias, and data privacy. The talk was moderated by Fay Cobb Payton and Susan Reiser of the DEI-CE.
People of ACM
Christina Harrington is an Assistant Professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s HCI Institute, where she is Director of the Equity and Health Innovations Design Research Lab. She also has a courtesy appointment in CMU’s School of Design.Among her volunteer activities with ACM, she was a General Co-Chair of the 2023 ACM Conference on Fairness, Accountability and Transparency (FAccT). This year, Harrington was recognized with the Computing Research Association’s (CRA) Skip Ellis Early Career Award. In her interview, she discusses “Black-centered design,” broadening the participation of underrepresented groups in computing, and more.
Adrien Bousseau is a Senior Researcher at the French National Institute for Research in Digital Science and Technology (Inria). He focuses on helping designers communicate with computers. Bousseau’s work has been applied in areas including architecture, fashion, and industrial design. His honors include a Eurographics 2011 PhD award for his research on expressive image manipulations and a Young Researcher Award from the French National Research Agency (ANR). In his interview, he discusses creating imaging tools, diffusion curves, the challenges of reconstructing drawings as 3D models, and more.
Robert Metcalfe is the recipient of the 2022 ACM A.M. Turing Award for the invention, standardization, and commercialization of Ethernet. He is an Emeritus Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) at The University of Texas at Austin and a Research Affiliate in Computational Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). In his interview, Metcalfe discusses the early development of Ethernet, why Ethernet became the preeminent connective technology, some advice for young inventors, and more.
Bruke Kifle is an AI Product Manager at Microsoft Turing, a team pushing the limits of natural language understanding, machine learning, and computer vision to address diverse business problems across the Microsoft ecosystem. His research interests include the interplay between artificial intelligence, business, ethics, and society. In his interview, he discusses what made him pursue a career in computers, his most exciting recent project at Microsoft, his hopeful outlook for the future of computing in Africa, and more.
Janet Haven is the Executive Director of Data & Society, a non-profit organization with a mission to advance public understanding of the social implications of data-centric technologies, automation, and AI. She is also a member of the (US) National Artificial Intelligence Advisory Committee. For ACM, she serves as a member of the ACM US Technology Policy Committee (ACM USTPC). In her interview, she discusses her research and advocacy at the intersection of public policy and technology, AI regulation, her work with Data & Society, and more.
Alfons Kemper is a Professor of Database Systems and Head of the Department of Computer Science at the Technical University of Munich, as well as Principal Technical Advisor at Tableau/Salesforce. His research interests focus on advanced, scalable database and data exploration systems. Together with his colleague Thomas Neumann, Kemper led the development of the innovative New-SQL database system HyPer—a main memory database system that was acquired by Tableau Software. In his interview, he discusses how the focus of his lab is unique within the field, a key innovation in the development of HyPer, and more.
In this episode of ACM ByteCast, Rashmi Mohan hosts Pattie Maes, a Professor at MIT's Program in Media Arts and Sciences. Maes runs MIT Media Lab's Fluid Interfaces research group and is also a faculty member in MIT's center for Neuro-Biological Engineering. Here, Maes recounts her path to computing, provides historical perspective on the cyclical nature of the field of AI, recalls some of the designs and applied technologies she has worked on throughout her celebrated career, her thoughts on building diverse teams, and more.
In this episode of ACM ByteCast, Rashmi Mohan hosts members of the team V Bionic, who won the Imagine Cup 2022 grand prize for ExoHeal, a modular exoskeletal hand rehabilitation device that utilizes neuroplasticity and Azure technology to provide adaptive and gamified rehabilitation exercises to people with hand paralysis. The team includes Zain A. Samdani, Faria Zubair, Asfia Jabeen Zubair, and Ramin Udash, who describe their backgrounds, how they got involved in computing and robotics, how ExoHeal works, the biggest challenges the team faced while building it, and more.
In this episode of ACM ByteCast, host Rashmi Mohan interviews Steve Nouri, founder of AI4Diversity, founding member of Hackmakers, and Chief AI Evangelist at Wand. With more than one million followers on LinkedIn, he is one of the most influential voices in AI and Data Science. In this podcast, the native Australian Nouri describes his journey to computing, explains the importance of building a brand online and how it can create more opportunities for computing professionals, and shares his big hopes for the non-profit AI4Diversity.
View the ACM TechTalk, "The Evolution of Accessibility," presented by Jenny Lay-Flurrie, Chief Accessibility Officer at Microsoft. Eve Andersson, Senior Director of Product Inclusion, Equity, and Accessibility at Google, moderated the following question and answer session. Continue the discussion on ACM's Discourse Page.
View the ACM TechTalk, "Instant Memory Training for Tech Success—The ABCs and 123s for Developing a Powerful Memory" presented by Chester Santos, International Man of Memory. Will Tracz of the ACM Professional Development Committee moderated the question and answer session. Continue the discussion on ACM's Discourse Page.
ACM Celebrates Native American Heritage Month
During Native American Heritage Month this November, ACM is featuring Native American technologists who are working to advance the field of computing. We’re also highlighting organizations that promote Native Americans and their work. We invite you to celebrate Native Americans whose ingenuity and entrepreneurship have helped shape the world we live in today, using the hashtag #NativeAmericanHeritageMonth. Follow ACM’s series and leave us a message on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or Instagram.
During Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in May 2023, ACM spotlighted Asian American and Pacific Islander pioneers and luminaries in the field of computing, whose ingenuity and entrepreneurship have helped shape the world we live in today. Who are your AAPI heroes that have inspired you to pursue computer science? Follow the series via #APAHM and leave us a message on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or Instagram.
During Pride Month 2023, ACM recognized the LGBTQ activists and computing professionals who pioneered LGBTQ rights within their fields. ACM featured inspiring quotations from LGBTQ activists and computing professionals through our social media campaign "Who Said It?" Did you recognize any of these quotations? We invite you to post quotations from LGBTQ activists and computing professionals that inspired you using the hashtag #PrideMonth2023.
Celebrate Black History Month by viewing the ACM DEI Council's panel, "Black Excellence in Real-World Computing"—now on demand. Moderator Fay Cobb Payton and panelists Juan Gilbert, Diana Burley, Martez Mott, and Happy Sithole offer an hour of stories, insights and actionable tips. Learn about the critical decisions that led them where they are, the unique challenges they navigate working at the intersection of computing, society, and identity, and how students, researchers, and practitioners of color are impacted by the pandemic and other current events.
Why do communities matter? Why should you spend time and energy on fostering a community in your field? In recent years, many initiatives have been launched aimed at empowering underrepresented groups by creating communities. To celebrate Hispanic-Latino Heritage Month (Sept. 15 - Oct. 15, 2023), the ACM DEI Council invited moderator Patti Ordóñez, Daniel Acuña, Stephanie Ludi, and Carlos R. Rivero to share their journeys as computing professionals, acknowledge their influences, and discuss the benefits and challenges of building alliances in the panel "Communities Matter: Celebrating Hispanic-Latino Alliances in Computing."
ACM's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council is an essential resource for SIGs, conferences, boards, and councils looking for best practices to improve diversity in their organization and develop programs with a broader reach in the computing community. Our guide provides examples of both inherent and acquired characteristics, which should be taken into consideration when looking at ways to improve the diversity of your team.
As part of ACM’s efforts to combat exclusion in the computing profession, ACM's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council has launched an effort to replace offensive or exclusionary terminology in the computing field. They have developed a list of computing terms to be avoided in professional writing and presentations and offer alternative language. The Council plans to expand this list in the future and invites the community to submit suggestions for consideration.
Language—it bonds people, societies, and countries. Yet at the same time it can be used (deliberately or not) to exclude or divide. The language we use shapes the way we see the world. But how can one navigate the ever-changing landscape of modern syntax? In "Words Matter," authors Juan E. Gilbert, Stephanie Ludi, David A. Patterson, and Lisa M. Smith offer examples of problematic jargon, give explanations of their difficulties, and suggest alternatives. It is with this more careful communication that computing can be more equitable and inclusive. Read their Viewpoint article in the July 2022 issue of Communications of the ACM.
ACM-W is the ACM Community of Support for Women in Computing. ACM-W 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.
The ACM Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct arose from the experiences, values and aspirations of computing professionals around the world, and it captures the conscience of the profession. It affirms an obligation of computing professionals both individually and collectively to use their skills for the benefit of society.
The open exchange of ideas is central to ACM’s mission. This requires an environment that embraces diversity and provides a safe, welcoming environment for all. ACM's Policy Against Harassment applies to all ACM activities, defines expected behavior and explains how to report unacceptable behavior.
ACM's Technology Policy Council and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council sponsored a free screening and public discussion of the film "Coded Bias" and how those in computer science fields can address issues of algorithmic fairness. The discussion, held on March 29, 2021, has been archived, and "Coded Bias" is now viewable on both PBS and Netflix.
ACM Fellow Timothy Pinkston organized and moderated a panel on "Valuing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Our Computing Community" held as a joint session of several co-located virtual conferences in March 2021. The panel included John Hennessey, David Patterson, Natalie Enright Jerger, Margaret Martonosi, Bill Dally and Kim Hazelwood. Watch a recording of the session and read a recap in CACM.
View on Demand: Celebrating Technology Leaders - Quantum Computing: Potential, Practicality, and Perils
The field of quantum computing has strongly impacted computer science while raising many questions. What problems are quantum computers particularly good at solving? Are there any practical applications of quantum computing? View a panel of women technologists—Mariia Mykhailova (Microsoft), Marlou Slot (NIST), Temitope Adeniyi (Cleveland State University), and Denise Ruffner (Diversity in Quantum)—with host Bushra Anjum as as they examine the possibilities quantum computing and demystify terms like "superposition", "entanglement", "interference", "tunneling," and "decoherence" in a beginner-friendly way.