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.
Diversity in computing enriches our understanding of the field as well as the people working in it. During Hispanic Heritage Month this year, we are spotlighting several Hispanic computing professionals, whose academic excellence, engineering accomplishments, and long-term efforts to diversify the field make them inspiring role models for future generations of students, researchers, and practitioners. We encourage you to post about the Hispanic computing professionals who have inspired you using the hashtags #HispanicHeritageMonth and #HHM2022.
Register now for the next free ACM TechTalk, "The Evolution of Accessibility," presented on Monday, September 26 at 2:00 PM EDT/18:00 UTC by Jenny Lay-Flurrie, Chief Accessibility Officer at Microsoft. Eve Andersson, Senior Director of Product Inclusion, Equity, and Accessibility at Google, will moderate the questions and answers session following the talk. Join Jenny Lay-Flurrie as she discusses why everyone should consider accessibility and how Microsoft and industry partners are committed to influencing the future of technology to ensure global independence and inclusion in society through AI and Machine Learning. Continue the discussion on ACM's Discourse Page.
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.
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.
Celebrating Technology Leaders, Episode 10: Blockchain Technology: What's the Big Deal?
Blockchain technology is a mysterious topic for many. Is it a network? A database? A cryptography algorithm? Is it the same as cryptocurrency? In this tenth episode of ACM-W’s webinar series, “Celebrating Technology Leaders,” host Bushra Anjum and panelists Lisa Calkins, Tatiana Zander, and Aneet Anjum discussed blockchain technology, its core concepts, how to differentiate blockchain hype from reality, and what problems are good candidates to be solved with this emerging technology.
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.
- Stephanie Ludi
- Lisa Smith
- Past Chairs
- Natalie Enright Jerger
- John West
- Co-Chairs, Standing Committee on Systemic Change
- Aubrey Rembert
- Chair, ACM-W
- Ruth Lennon
- Daniel Acuña
- Leigh Ann Delyser
- Ann Gates
- Juan Gilbert
- Leah Jamieson
- Hemangee Kapoor
- David Patterson
- 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
Mark Allen Weiss is a Professor and Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education at Florida International University. He is most well-known for his sole-authored Data Structures textbooks, which are among the most-widely used in computer science. Weiss received the ACM Karl V. Karlstrom Outstanding Educator Award for advancing the art and science of computer science (CS) education through his textbooks, research, and curriculum design. In his interview, he discusses what inspired him to begin writing textbooks, and his work with both the Advanced Placement (AP) CS Development Committee and the National Science Foundation.
Raluca Ada Popa is an Associate Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, where she is Co-Director of RISELab and SkyLab, two labs aiming to build secure intelligent systems for the cloud and for the sky of clouds, respectively. Her research interests include security, systems, and applied cryptography. Popa received the 2021 ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award for the design of secure distributed systems. In her interview, Popa discusses what inspired her to work in security and cryptography, the challenges and innovations in working with encrypted data, and the role of open-sourcing artifacts in her field.
Pieter Abbeel is a Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, where he is Director of the Berkeley Robot Learning Lab and Co-Director of the Berkeley Artificial Intelligence Research (BAIR) Lab. He is also Co-Founder, President, and Chief Scientist at Covariant, an AI robotics company. Abbeel is the recipient of the 2021 ACM Prize in Computing for contributions to robot learning. In his interview, he discusses some of his significant breakthroughs, AI learning in robots, and offers advice for aspiring AI researchers
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.