By Jane Stout, Director of CRA’s Center for Evaluating the Research Pipeline
Recently, CRA board member Kim Hazelwood (Facebook) and Natalie Enright Jerger (University of Toronto) published an article in Computer Architecture Today that analyzed gender diversity in the sub-discipline.
The authors culled several data sources that illustrate widespread, low gender diversity in the computer architecture community. The data sources span from SIG membership, to conference participation (e.g., chairs, speakers, etc.), to hall of fame awardees. One interesting trend is that women are more likely to be in technical support roles (program committee; session chair) versus traditional technical roles (author; speaker) at computing architecture conferences; this trend replicates existing social science research. The data also show women’s stark underrepresentation in influential roles, including conference steering committees, keynote speakers, and awardees/honorees. The authors suggest women’s increased participation in roles of influence may foster greater gender diversity throughout the entire community. In my opinion, other computing research sub-disciplines should generate their own report, similar to the report discussed here, in order to pinpoint and learn from sub-disciplines that have successfully fostered gender diversity.