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.
Watch 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.
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.
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.
Computing4Change is a competition for students from diverse disciplines and backgrounds who want to work collaboratively to learn to apply data analysis and computational thinking to a social challenge, experience the latest tools and techniques for exploring data through visualization, expand skills in team-based problem solving and to learn how to communicate ideas more effectively to the general public.
By highlighting successful technical women who are leading diverse careers in the technology industry, ACM-W’s webinar series, “Celebrating Technology Leaders,” aims to inform students and early-career professionals about the multitude of career options open to them. Visit https://women.acm.org/celebrating-technology-leaders/ to view on-demand.
- Stephanie Ludi
- Lisa Smith
- Past Chairs
- Natalie Enright Jerger
- John West
- Co-Chairs, Standing Committee on Systemic Change
- Aubrey Rembert
- Tiffani Williams
- Chair, ACM-W
- Jodi Tims
- Daniel Acuña
- Nery Chapeton-Lamas
- Leigh Ann Delyser
- Ann Gates
- Juan Gilbert
- Leah Jamieson
- Hemangee Kapoor
- David Patterson
- Rose Robinson
- Christine Stephenson
- Bryant York
- Education Board DEI Committee Co-Chairs
- Fay Cobb Payton
- Susan Reiser
Convened by the ACM Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council, the scope of the Systemic Change Committee includes:
- Consider ACM volunteer activities where changes can be made to promote racial equity
- Develop a living document of a prioritized list of actions to address systemic change
- Work with volunteer leadership to consider ways to address identified problems
- Create metrics to report relevant diversity numbers
Shaoshan Liu is the founder and CEO of PerceptIn, an autonomous machine computing company. His research interests include computer architecture, deep learning infrastructure, robotics, and autonomous driving. Liu has published more than 100 research papers and holds over 150 U.S. and international patents. He is also the lead author of the textbooks Creating Autonomous Vehicle Systems, Engineering Autonomous Vehicles and Robots: The DragonFly Modular-based Approach, and Robotic Computing on FPGAs. His career goal is to improve humanity through technological advancements.
Carla E. Brodley is Dean of Inclusive Computing at Northeastern University. Brodley’s research interests include applied and basic machine learning, CS education, and broadening participation in computing. She is a Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Brodley was named an ACM Fellow for applications of machine learning and for increasing participation of women in computer science. She was also recently chosen as the inaugural recipient of the ACM Frances E. Allen Award for Outstanding Mentoring.
Feifei Li is Vice President at Alibaba Group. He is the Director of the Database Product Business Unit at Alibaba Cloud, as well as Chief Database Scientist for the DAMO Academy (a research branch of Alibaba Group) and Director of its Database and Storage Research Lab. He was a Professor at the School of Computing, University of Utah before joining Alibaba group. For ACM, Li is an Associate Editor of ACM Transactions on Database Systems (ACM TODS) and has served in various leadership roles of multiple ACM SIGMOD conferences. Li was recently named an ACM Fellow for contributions to query processing, optimization and cloud database systems.
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.
Ruth Lennon, current chair of ACM-W Europe, has been appointed the next Global Chair of ACM-W. Ruth is the director of Craobh Technology Consulting, an organization that provides personalized solutions to industry problems. She is also a lecturer with 20 years of experience in the Department of Computing at Letterkenny Institute of Technology, Ireland, and has been a member of ACM for over 20 years.
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 SIGACCESS has developed a new free guide to help committees organizing and executing accessible virtual conferences inclusive for people with disabilities. The guidance is based on accessibility standards such as the W3C’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and user experiences with virtual meetings, and provides a central resource for both best practices and links to other resources. Check out the guide at https://www.sigaccess.org/accessible-virtual-conferences/.
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.
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.