Seminar Series: Building the UK Women into Computer Science Experience

Supported by CPHC, UKCRC, EPSRC & BCS

As of June this year, the percentage of women entering computer science undergraduate programmes in the UK is 15% (new data).

Subject breakdown – Female Graduates

UCAS data from 2016-2018 on percentage women entering undergraduate Computer Science programmes

We know we need to do better, urgently. It is possible!

Yes, your UK Department CAN increase the Undergrad Numbers of Women in CS: Here’s HOW.  

A 6 part online seminar / short course series on how you can too, by the people who have done it, and are doing it – including in the UK.

This series is an amazing world class opportunity to hear from, and engage with, international leaders who have successfully increased gender diversity and quality for undergraduate Computer Science programmes – and beyond into the CS pipeline.

Who are YOU: You are a Department Head of Computer Science//Related programme, Dean, Graduate Programme Director, VP of Research, VC, Programme lead in Computer Science — You are a Computer Science Academic who knows the numbers of women entering your computer science undergraduate programmes is far too low, but are unsure of strategies to improve either  the numbers, or the quality of the experience for the women in the programme.  

Sessions: There will be six weekly online sessions, starting on Wednesday 14 October and running to Wednesday 18 November 2020 from 16:30-18:00 (local UK time). Speaker biographies may be found by clicking on names below.

Session 1: Weds 14 Oct with Maria Klawe, Ed Lazowska & Hank Levy Moderated by m.c. schraefel

“How CS department leaders can increase the gender diversity of their departments”

Watch & hear the Session here. The session starts at approx 00:05:10.

Seminar One, Lead by Maria Klawe, president of Harvey Mudd, lead the following transformation of women undergraduates into CS

The panellists will describe how their departments recruited and retained women as undergraduates, graduate students and faculty members.

Session 2: Weds 21 Oct with Carla Brodley (Northeastern) & Jeff Forbes (NSF) [Click here to see Carla and Jeff talking about this session] Moderated by Wendy Hall

Funding research and implementation of best practices initiatives for broadening participation in computing WHERE Equity and Diversity Meet in CS Undergraduate Programmes [Abstract]

Watch & hear the Session here. The session starts at approx 00:04:00.

Session 3: Weds 28 Oct with Colleen Lewis (Assistant Professor of CS at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Anne Nortcliffe (Founding Head of School of Engineering, Technology and Design), Duncan Maidens (Raspberry Pi Foundation) & Faron Moller (Director of Technocamps ( and the Institute of Coding in Wales) Moderated by Sue Black

“What is happening in UK Schools for CS and how can you get involved?” [Abstract]

Watch & hear the Session here. The session starts at approx 00:00:38.

Session 4: Weds 4 Nov with Linda Sax & Kathleen Lehman (UCLA/Momentum) [Click here to see Linda and Kathleen talking about this session] Moderated by Adrian Friday

“What Can be Learned from the Research? Findings from a U.S. Initiative to Broaden Participation in Computing” [Abstract]

Watch and hear the Session here. The session starts at approx 00:00:42.

Session 5: Weds 11 Nov with Jane Hillston (Professor of Quantitative Modelling, U of Edinburgh, UK), Hannes Werthner (Professor of  Computer Science, TU Wien, Austria), Gertrude Kappel (Professor at the Institute of Information Systems Engineering at TU Wien, Austria) & Ignatios Vakalis (Professor of  Computer Science,  California  Polytechnic, San Luis Obispo, CA) Moderated by Faron Moller

Increasing Diversity in the Face of Enrolment Booms in Computer Science – or Computer Science is Too Important to be Left to Men [Abstract]

Watch and hear the Session here. The session starts at approx 00:05:10.

Session 6: Weds 18 Nov

ROUND TABLE AND WRAP UP: Real Actions for Women in CS Undergraduates and Beyond

Alan Dix, Swansea University
Carole Goble, University of Manchester
Chris Freeman, University of Southampton
Maryam Crabbe-Mann, EPSRC, ICT Team
Ann Blandford, University College London
Edmund Robinson, Queen Mary University of London

This closing session is a chance to interact with all the seminar members with your questions based on any of the sessions, towards an actionable, shared agenda for the UK, to improve intake of women coming into CS as undergrads, ensuring a great experience while there and helping to flourish in academia beyond undergrad experience.

We invite you to sign up for the whole series: you will receive calendar invites and links for each session. Joining instructions via Zoom will also follow. Of course, if you cannot make a session, we understand. Please share the invite with a colleague.

A great example of Maria Klawe talking about this work
An example of Carla Brodley’s work
Dean Brodley’s masters in CS for non-cs students
Ed Lazowska on Bloomberg talking about the bro culture of CS

Consolidated biographies are here