Today, 11 February, marks the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. We are pleased to announce that Maria Girone, CERN openlab CTO, is one of four joint signatories to a letter calling for the establishment of a new group to support women working in high-performance computing (HPC) in Switzerland. The full text of the letter, which is also signed by long-term CERN openlab collaborator Marie-Christine Sawley of Intel, can be found below.
Scientists and engineers with diverse backgrounds and interests are key for progress in science and technology, and for the benefit of wider society. The untapped potential of young girls not even considering technology as a possible curriculum, and of female scientists who decide to switch careers because of obstacles, represents a loss of opportunities.
This gap is even wider when it comes to computer science, where it is estimated that females represent around 15% of the workforce. We are group of professional women, all passionate about HPC, with different career tracks within the field, each with our own experience, and who are willing to share and act to improve this situation. We have decided to unite and will work to gather support for actions such as the following:
- Raising awareness of the chronic under-representation of women in IT-related fields, as well as the impact this has.
- Promoting the achievements of young female scientists and engineers, providing them with improved visibility and a stronger voice.
- Helping to provide role models and mentoring.
- Creating a network to help connect those working in Switzerland with similar initiatives in other countries.
In the coming months, we will work to form a structured group, which we would like to connect with Women in HPC, either as an affiliate or as a new chapter. We plan to have a session detailing this nascent initiative at the PASC20 conference at the University of Geneva end of June. Stay tuned for more information. In the meantime, if you would like more information or to share your ideas, we invite you to contact us at the following address: [EMAIL]. We look forward to meeting you soon.