In partnership with the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Center for Women in Information Technology (NCWIT), CRA announces an initial launch of BPCnet.org, a resource portal designed to amplify the NSF CISE Directorate’s efforts in broadening participation in computing (BPC). CRA anticipates that BPCnet.org will provide a much-needed clearinghouse for the community to learn about and engage with ongoing projects to diversify computing.
Computing Research News
Articles on diversity analysis and efforts.
According to the 2017 Data Buddies Survey, significantly higher percentages of students who are underrepresented in computing (29% and above) felt like an outsider in computing than majority men with no disabilities (17%). This lack of a sense of belonging was highest among the students with disabilities who are women or racial/ethnic minorities (45-46%).
In 2018, CRA launched the Grad Cohort for Underrepresented Minorities + Persons with Disabilities (Grad Cohort URMD) workshop. CERP found that compared to before the workshop, participants reported stronger knowledge about a number of professional skills after attending Grad Cohort URMD. Applications for the 2019 workshop will open October 2018.
Diversity-focused conferences such as the Grace Hopper Celebration and Richard Tapia Conference provide an opportunity for students who are underrepresented in computing to meet other students and professionals who have similar experiences. Data Buddies Survey data show that students who participated in these conferences feel more confident in their ability to complete their degree in computing than the students who did not participate.
CRA-WPExpanding the Pipeline
The National Girls Collaborative Project (NGCP) brings together organizations throughout the United States that are committed to informing and encouraging girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, computer science, and mathematics. NGCP serves more than 35,000 programs in 41 states and uses a collective impact model that builds the capacity of educational programs.
Compared to White and Asian students, who are considered the racial and ethnic majority in computing fields, students who are members of underrepresented racial and ethnic groups and students with disabilities (URMD) were 1.5 times more likely to report having seriously considered leaving their graduate program.
On April 13-14, more than 400 women graduate students in computing from more than 150 institutions converged on San Francisco, CA, for the 2018 CRA-W Graduate Cohort for Women (CRA-W Grad Cohort). Throughout the two-day workshop, professional connections were made, new friendships were formed, and mentoring relationships with senior researchers were established. CRA-W organizes this workshop as part of its mission to increase the success and participation of women in computing research.
Approximately 100 graduate students in computing and more than 20 speakers assembled on March 16-17 in San Diego, CA, to convene the inaugural CRA Graduate Cohort for Underrepresented Minorities and Persons with Disabilities (URMD Grad Cohort). It was the first gathering of its kind hosted by CRA. This new iteration of the Grad Cohort Workshop focused on the following underrepresented groups in computing: Alaska Native, Black/African American, Hispanic, Native American, Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander, and persons with disabilities. The workshop aimed to increase representation from these groups in computing research by building and mentoring nationwide communities through their graduate studies, and is modeled on the highly successful CRA-W Grad Cohort Workshop for Women.
CRA-WPExpanding the Pipeline
The Computing Alliance for Hispanic-Serving Institutions (CAHSI) is a consortium of Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs) committed to consolidating the strengths, resources, and efforts of public, private, federal, state, and local organizations that share the core value of increasing the number of Hispanics who pursue and complete baccalaureate and advanced degrees in computing areas. CAHSI plays a critical role in evaluating, documenting, and disseminating effective practices that support students in computing disciplines at the critical junctures in the academic pipeline.
Diverse perspectives foster innovation and ensure the needs of many are met. At present, tech companies lack demographic diversity. As the director of the Center for Evaluating the Research Pipeline (CERP) at CRA, Jane Stout studies factors that often encourage (or discourage) people from underrepresented groups from pursuing technical careers. Recently, Stout led an interactive and insightful webinar exploring the issues.
CRA’s own Jane Stout, director of the CRA Center for Evaluating the Research Pipeline (CERP), was recently featured in the article “Q&A: Researcher Shares Strategies to Increase Diversity in Tech,” in EdTech Magazine: Focus on Higher Education. Amy Burroughs, managing editor of EdTech spoke to Jane about why the lack of diversity in tech persists, how institutions benefit from diverse groups and how IT leaders can build more diverse teams. Drawing from her social science background and her current research on factors that influence women and minorities pursuing computing careers, Jane emphasized building a sense of belonging and community and encouraged IT managers to actively recruit women who can serve as role models and mentors. She also encourages IT managers to recognize that there are different types of effective leadership styles.