Black women are a segment of the population that is one of the least represented in computing, and increasing their representation is further challenged by the lack of positive messages in media that celebrate their contributions to technology. In an effort to combat this lack of awareness, it is important to amplify the voice of a thriving community of black women in computing and technologists and inspire black girls to pursue their interests in computer science.
Through our programming, we aim to honor and celebrate the technical and societal contributions of black women in computing to academia, industry, government, and non-profit sectors. By organizing conferences and workshops we provide services including education and professional development, connections with communities that support black women and girls, and share narratives that portray black women and girls as exciting, innovative, and multi-faceted.
Below is a description of our first workshop and signature event #blackcomputeHER!. Please contact us for more information or to receive a copy of our final reports.
#blackcomputeHER! - JANUARY 2017
The Inaugural Black Women in Computing Conference, #blackcomputeHER!, provided an opportunity for nearly 100 women technologists to gather in Washington, D.C. During the conference women from industry, academia and government focused on:
- Creating new networks and catalyzing the community of black women in computing
- Developing skills in leadership, communication, wellness, and career development
- Discussing salient themes in the intersection of race and gender in computing
BLACK WOMEN IN COMPUTING WORKSHOP - JANUARY 2016
During this two-day workshop, we explored the intersectional experiences of black women in the computing sciences and formulated strategies into an actionable plan that addressed the lack of awareness and action around this intersectionality. Twenty-four black women in computing representing universities, industry, and government participated in the workshop, identifying the following seven themes:
- Theme 1: Linking black women in computing to the bottom line for accountability
- Theme 2: Developing key influencers and thought leaders
- Theme 3: Increased cultural and educational supports for black women in computing
- Theme 4: Leadership development
- Theme 5: Lack of collective research about black women in computing
- Theme 6: Our voices: Illuminating our trials and triumphs
- Theme 7: Branding and communication
The participants discussed key issues, concerns, and strategies for each theme. They created an action plan of next steps for each, creating an initial working team and assigning a lead for each theme.