Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Anyone, from any background, should feel encouraged to participate and contribute to ACM. Differences – in age, race, gender and sexual orientation, nationality, physical ability, thinking style and experience – bring richness to our efforts in providing quality programs and services for the global computing community.
ACM is committed to creating an environment that welcomes new ideas and perspectives, and where hostility or other antisocial behaviors are not tolerated.
Celebrate Black History Month by viewing the ACM DEI Council's panel, "Black Excellence in Real-World Computing"—now on demand. Moderator Fay Cobb Payton and panelists Juan Gilbert, Diana Burley, Martez Mott, and Happy Sithole offer an hour of stories, insights and actionable tips. Learn about the critical decisions that led them where they are, the unique challenges they navigate working at the intersection of computing, society, and identity, and how students, researchers, and practitioners of color are impacted by the pandemic and other current events.
Most ACM members reside outside the United States, with varying diversity issues around the world. In "An Analysis of Black Faculty in CS Research Departments," Juan E. Gilbert, et al. thought it would be enlightening to do a case study on one marginalized group in the US in the hopes that the lessons learned could be helpful to other groups and in other regions. This particular case study is on the education origins of African-American faculty members in Computer Science (CS) at US universities. Learn about the results and the authors' conclusions in the February 2023 issue of Communications of the ACM.
Every computing student deserves a chance to see themselves in computing, irrespective of demographics, interests, or socioeconomic status. Real-life stories of people finding success after repeated setbacks help students see how and why they persevere. In her article, “The Lives of Hidden Figures Matter in Computer Science Education,” Tiffani Williams, co-chair of ACM's Standing Committee on Systemic Change, provides examples of how computer science educators can incorporate stories of struggle and growth into the classroom and make CS more welcoming for everyone. Read her Viewpoint article in the February 2022 issue of Communications of the ACM.
Language—it bonds people, societies, and countries. Yet at the same time it can be used (deliberately or not) to exclude or divide. The language we use shapes the way we see the world. But how can one navigate the ever-changing landscape of modern syntax? In "Words Matter," authors Juan E. Gilbert, Stephanie Ludi, David A. Patterson, and Lisa M. Smith offer examples of problematic jargon, give explanations of their difficulties, and suggest alternatives. It is with this more careful communication that computing can be more equitable and inclusive. Read their Viewpoint article in the July 2022 issue of Communications of the ACM.
- Stephanie Ludi
- Lisa Smith
- Past Chairs
- Natalie Enright Jerger
- John West
- Chair, ACM-W
- Ruth Lennon
- Daniel Acuña
- Leigh Ann Delyser
- Ann Gates
- Juan Gilbert
- Leah Jamieson
- Hemangee Kapoor
- David Patterson
- Chris Stephenson
- Bryant York
- Yolanda A. A. Rankin
- Education Board DEI Committee Co-Chairs
- Fay Cobb Payton
- Susan Reiser
Celebrating Technology Leaders, Ep. 12: Empowered by Support: Communities, Connections and Careers for Women in Tech
Whether you are a student or an experienced engineering leader, a robust network, an opportunity for peer learning, the prospects of mentorship, and a crowd-sourced catalog of career opportunities, are vital for your personal and professional progression. In this episode of "ACM-W Celebrating Technology Leaders" with host Bushra Anjum, you will hear from senior women technologists who have devoted decades of their lives, either as full-time careers or as passionate volunteers, to creating and nurturing empowering communities for technical women.
View the webinar “Language Matters: DEI and the Question of URM,” featuring Nicki Washington of Duke University and Tiffani L. Williams of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in discussion on the importance of language to promote inclusive environments for work and study. The webinar was organized by the ACM Education Board’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Computing Education Task Force and ACM’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council, and was moderated by DEI-CE co-chair Fay Cobb Payton.
ACM Education Board’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Computing Education Task Force and ACM’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council, for the webinar "Power On! Addressing Issues of Equity and Youth Agency in Computing Education Through a Graphic Novel for Educators and Students." Authors Jane Margolis and Jean Ryoo offered insights on how students of all ages can become more aware of the ethical complexities of technology and how technology intersects with systemic inequality and racism. DEI-CE co-chairs Fay Cobb Payton and Susan Reiser moderated.
ACM's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council is an essential resource for SIGs, conferences, boards, and councils looking for best practices to improve diversity in their organization and develop programs with a broader reach in the computing community. Our guide provides examples of both inherent and acquired characteristics, which should be taken into consideration when looking at ways to improve the diversity of your team.
As part of ACM’s efforts to combat exclusion in the computing profession, ACM's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council has launched an effort to replace offensive or exclusionary terminology in the computing field. They have developed a list of computing terms to be avoided in professional writing and presentations and offer alternative language. The Council plans to expand this list in the future and invites the community to submit suggestions for consideration.
Ruth Lennon, current chair of ACM-W Europe, has been appointed the next Global Chair of ACM-W. Ruth is the director of Craobh Technology Consulting, an organization that provides personalized solutions to industry problems. She is also a lecturer with 20 years of experience in the Department of Computing at Letterkenny Institute of Technology, Ireland, and has been a member of ACM for over 20 years. Read more about Ruth Lennon's selection as Global Chair on the ACM-W website.
Marlene Mhangami is a software engineer and developer advocate at Voltron Data, based in Harare, Zimbabwe. Voltron Data is a company that is working to develop open-source standards for data. Earlier in her career, Mhangami served as the Director and Vice Chair of the Python Software Foundation (PSF). Mhangami was recently named Vice Chair of the ACM Practitioner Board, which is responsible for developing programs that support the professional needs of ACM members. In her interview, Mhangami discusses the Python programming language, developing open-source standards, and more.
Dong Yu is a Distinguished Scientist and Vice General Manager at Tencent AI Lab. He has published more than 300 papers on topics including automatic speech recognition, speech processing, and natural language processing. Yu has received many Best Paper Awards, including the prestigious IEEE Signal Processing Society Best Paper Award in 2013, 2016, 2020, and 2022. He was recently named an ACM Fellow for contributions in speech processing and deep learning applications. In his interview, he discusses voice processing advances, natural language understanding, and more.
Sekou L. Remy is a Staff Research Scientist at IBM Research-Africa in Nairobi, Kenya. His research areas span AI, health informatics, and infrastructure performance modelling and analysis. Remy has authored more than 55 publications on topics including healthcare, learning, and data science. In his interview, he discusses the ability of AI to enable superhuman decision-making, applying technology to address Covid-19, and the computing and technology scene in and around Nairobi, Kenya.
ACM-W is the ACM Community of Support for Women in Computing. ACM-W supports, celebrates, and advocates internationally for the full engagement of women in all aspects of the computing field, providing a wide range of programs and services to ACM members and working in the larger community to advance the contributions of technical women.
The ACM Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct arose from the experiences, values and aspirations of computing professionals around the world, and it captures the conscience of the profession. It affirms an obligation of computing professionals both individually and collectively to use their skills for the benefit of society.
The open exchange of ideas is central to ACM’s mission. This requires an environment that embraces diversity and provides a safe, welcoming environment for all. ACM's Policy Against Harassment applies to all ACM activities, defines expected behavior and explains how to report unacceptable behavior.
ACM's Technology Policy Council and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council sponsored a free screening and public discussion of the film "Coded Bias" and how those in computer science fields can address issues of algorithmic fairness. The discussion, held on March 29, 2021, has been archived, and "Coded Bias" is now viewable on both PBS and Netflix.
ACM SIGACCESS has developed a new free guide to help committees organizing and executing accessible virtual conferences inclusive for people with disabilities. The guidance is based on accessibility standards such as the W3C’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and user experiences with virtual meetings, and provides a central resource for both best practices and links to other resources. Check out the guide at https://www.sigaccess.org/accessible-virtual-conferences/.
ACM Fellow Timothy Pinkston organized and moderated a panel on "Valuing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Our Computing Community" held as a joint session of several co-located virtual conferences in March 2021. The panel included John Hennessey, David Patterson, Natalie Enright Jerger, Margaret Martonosi, Bill Dally and Kim Hazelwood. Watch a recording of the session and read a recap in CACM.