The driving force behind the inaugural womENcourage conference to be held in Manchester, England, on March 1 is Reyyan Ayfer, chair of the Department of Computer Technology and Programming.
The womENcourage 2014 event is sponsored by Bloomberg, Facebook, Google, Intel, Microsoft Research and Yahoo Labs, and is being organized by ACM-W Europe, of which Ms. Ayfer is also chair. ACM-W—the Association for Computing Machinery’s Women in Computing section—is dedicated to supporting, celebrating and advocating for women in computing.
The registration for womENcourage is full, with the available 250 slots filled in less than 10 days of open registration.
The registered delegates represent 32 countries, with more than 50 percent of the delegates coming from outside of the United Kingdom. Turkey is among the top 10 participating countries. Seventy-two percent of the delegates are students; 67 percent of the students are PhD and master’s students, while 33 percent are undergraduates. Ninety-two percent of the registrants are women.
In a recent statement, Ms. Ayfer noted that computer science is based on computational thinking. “That means understanding a problem, analyzing it in depth and going on to design a practical solution,” she said. “As such, it involves lots of communication at different levels—which is why women, with the right encouragement, can really excel at it.”
Three of the major aims of ACM-W Europe are to:
Promote the image of computing;
Promote new ways of facing the challenges of the next generation of women in computing;
Work with the EU and the European Commission on programs related to women in computing.