Do I belong?

Am I good enough?

These are questions that many students ask themselves in Computer Science at some point. There is doubt. The imposter syndrome is at play.

As Woman in Computer Science, this can be amplified because even though we make up half of the population this is not reflected in our chosen field of study.  Most of our teachers are not women. Most of our classmates are not women. Most of the leaders in our field are not women. Most of the originators in our field are not women.

One way that we can help our female students in Computer Science feel included and empowered in the Computer Science community is to embed them in environments where they are not the minority anymore. There are several conferences that focus on women in technology. Attending these conferences allows students to see more Women in Computer Science – more students, more teachers, more researchers, more industry leaders, more role models. The conferences tackle issues that focus on the specific challenges of being a woman in technology. The conferences allow our students to see that women make incredible contributions to Computer Science.

With your help, we can send more of our students to these conferences.

The Background

Less than 15% of the students in Computer Science at Carleton are women. How can we make this minority in Computer Science flourish?  How can we make this minority in Computer Science feel included.

The Women in Computer Science (WiCS) group at Carleton is organized by the School of Computer Science. We are a dedicated community at Carleton University whose mission is to establish a positive environment for women in computing at all academic levels. Our goals are to establish an environment where female students are supported in their studies, promote women in Computer Science and to build a strong network of women in Computer Science.

Supporting students to attend conferences and workshops that focus on women in computer science is one way that WiCS tries to help.

Attending these events gives our students opportunities to be inspired by other Women in Computer Science, to form networks with other students to share their common struggles and achievements, go form a community with more Women in Computer Science. Students that attend these events come back energized and confident. They spread this with the community here.

The Rollout

The funds will be used to send as many students as possible to different events that focus on women in technology. This includes registration fees, travel costs and accommodations.

The main event that we focus on is CAN-CWiC, the ACM Canadian Celebration of Women in Technology. It is the premiere Canadian computing conference for Women in Technology bringing together leaders in research, education and industry from across Canada. This year’s event will be virtual but when we are back in person next year (fingers crossed!) the event might be in any city across Canada!

The Impact

The impact of sending our students to conferences and workshops to meet with other women in computer science is best told from the students that have been sent to some of these events with previous help from generous supporters like yourself.

“I met and bonded with some amazing women in CS from all across Canada while attending CAN-CWiCS! This annual event allowed me to connect with other students, learn from them, and share experiences with each other. You can tell that CAN-CWiCS really does embody the mission of encouraging curiosity and awareness for digital innovations that change the community and the world around us.”

“When I attended CAN-CWICS last year, I did not have any understanding of what I was going to experience since that was my first convention related to Computer Science. The experience was truly eye opening and made me feel powerful. The energy that I took from attending CAN-CWICS is one that I still have with me today. So from first hand experience I know that attending women in tech led conferences is truly an experience every women deserves to have. Women I have met through the conference are ones that I respect and still keep in contact with till this day.”

“Thank you so much for the contribution to the FutureFunders WiCS program! I was very fortunate to attend the 2019 Grace Hopper Conference (GHC) as a result of your sponsorship. Truly, this is not something I could’ve participated in on my own, had it not been for WiCS and for you. It was an amazing experience, and I realized the effect of networking. It was a privilege to meet other aspiring students like myself, and share in the struggle of balancing our classwork while attending the conference. It was a great opportunity for me to attend the conference with some of my fellow WiCS members from Carleton University!”


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