CRA-W recently hosted its latest Graduate Cohort Workshop (Grad Cohort) on April 14-15, in San Diego, Calif. Thanks to support from various sponsors, more than 550 female graduate students in computer science attended the event, up from 365 in 2015. Despite its significant growth, the program remains selective; more than 1,000 students applied for this year’s workshop. At the gathering, 31 speakers from industry, academia, and government shared their advice and strategies for success in graduate school.
Computing Research News
Items relevant to the Grad Cohort program organized by the Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research (CRA-W).
Overwhelmingly, Grad Cohort women are employed in industry/government positions. In 2015, CERP followed up with women who had attended a CRA-W Grad Cohort Workshop between 2004 and 2012. Survey respondents (n = 371) provided the following current employment information: 70% were employed, 26% were graduate students, and 4% who were unemployed. Of those who responded that they were employed (n = 258), 64% indicated they were employed in an industry/government setting, 32% were in academia, and 4% in other settings.
During the spring of 2015, 63 Terminal Masters students who had participated in the CRA-W’s annual Grad Cohort mentoring event for women graduate students responded to the following: How interested are you in ultimately pursuing a PhD in a computing field? Respondents answer this question two weeks prior to and two weeks after Grad Cohort using the following scale: Not at all, A little, Somewhat, Quite a bit, Extremely.
Grad Cohort is a two-day workshop that seeks to improve the success and retention of women in computing research by advising graduate students in computing on research skills and on career planning and development. Grad Cohort seeks to meet these goals using presentations, panels, and individual mentoring, and by creating professional social networks. Participants (N = 162) completed surveys prior to and immediately following the workshop. Findings suggest that Grad Cohort had a positive influence on participants’ self-reported outcomes. Participants reported greater self-efficacy, greater tendency to interpret setbacks as opportunities for growth (i.e., growth mindset), stronger networking skills, and a stronger network of colleagues after attending Grad Cohort than before. The complete Evaluation Report can be viewed at cra.org/cerp/evaluation-reports.
CRA-WExpanding the Pipeline
CRA-W hosted its 11th annual Grad Cohort in Santa Clara, California on April 11 and 12, 2014. Grad Cohort is a two-day workshop that seeks to improve the success and retention of women in computing research. Senior women advise graduate students on research skills, publishing, career stages, internships, networking, and collaborations with presentations, panels, individual mentoring, and by creating professional social networks.
Boston offered up a sunny and brisk 52 degrees on April 4th as 338 participants, speakers, and staff began to arrive at the Seaport Hotel near the Boston Harbor. The hotel was the site of the 2013 CRA-W Graduate Cohort Workshop on April 5-6, 2013.This year’s Grad Cohort was the largest to date with 302 graduate students representing 118 institutions across the United States and Canada.
On April 13-14, 2012 approximately 245 women computer science / computer engineering graduate students descended upon beautiful Bellevue, WA for the 2012 CRA-W Graduate Cohort Workshop. There they were joined by over 25 senior technical women representing academia, government, and industry. The Graduate Cohort Workshop, with significant support from Microsoft Research, along with support from Google, IBM, Yahoo!, and many University Departments, aims to increase the ranks of senior women in computing by building and mentoring communities of women through their graduate studies.