Why do you need an initiative here?

This project is run to encourage women who are interested in Computer Science but may have been discouraged somehow. If you look at the Statistics page you'll see how the percentage of women studying Computing drops as you progress through the education system. There have been many studies to work out why this is, and successful initiatives which have, at other institutions, succeeded in recruiting and retaining much higher percentages of women at higher levels. The computing industry is also struggling with so few qualified women, which explains the backing of Microsoft and Intel that women@cl has.

What support is available?

There are lots of different options open to you depending on what support you are looking for. Try looking at the Other initiatives page - we've tried to compile a comprehensive list of people to go to. Most welfare support is provided in your college so you may be best talking to your JCR or MCR welfare rep if you're an undergraduate. There are also mentoring and development programs you can be involved in.

The answer is that discrimination on grounds of gender is, of course, illegal - one can't (with a few exceptions) run activities which exclude or favour men or women, just because they are male or female. However "positive action" - for example career development activities for underrepresented groups - is legal, and encouraged by government who support several initiatives for women in science, computing and engineering. "Positive action" is part of the Cambridge Equal Opportunities policy, and the Cambridge EOO supports a number of schemes. For more information about positive action please visit the Equality and Human Rights Commission

How successful are women in the Cambridge Computer lab?

There are currently about 40 female academics in the department, including an emeritus professor, lecturers and researchers at postdoc and masters levels with a wide range of specialisms and interests. Have a look at the Profiles page to meet a few of them.

How can I get involved?

Have a look at the Calendar page to see what's going on at present. If you are a female member of the computing lab then you should be emailed with details of the upcoming events. If you have any questions or suggestions then go to the contact page to find out how to get in touch.

What similar schemes are being run for men?

There are many welfare and access programs across the University for both men and women. There is personal development course, similar to Springboard, run for male postgraduates and staff called Navigator.

What is Cambridge's equal opportunities policy?

The full policy is available online but here are the most relevant parts:

The University of Cambridge is committed in its pursuit of academic excellence to equality of opportunity and to a pro-active and inclusive approach to equality, which supports and encourages all under-represented groups, promotes an inclusive culture, and values diversity.
The University is therefore committed to a policy and practice which require that, for students, admission to the University and progression within undergraduate and graduate studies, will be determined only by personal merit and by performance. For staff, entry into employment with the University and progression within employment will be determined only by personal merit and by the application of criteria which are related to the duties and conditions of each particular post and the needs of the institution concerned.
Subject to statutory provisions no applicant for admission as a student, or for a staff appointment, or student, or member of staff, will be treated less favourably than another on the grounds of sex (including gender reassignment), marital or parental status, race, ethnic or national origin, colour, disability, sexual orientation, religion, or age. For students, ability to meet the requirements of the selection criteria for competitive admission and for staff, ability to perform the job, will be the primary consideration.

Back to top