Women in Technology - Friday Links 21 February 2020

Language & Perceptions


Some notes from CERN of the 90’s:

We can’t possibly have women operators calling-in the experts during the night shifts in the control room– what would their wives say?”

The light grey/yellow coloured versions were considered to be too weak or feminine to be published by CERN. Technical subjects demand a more or less masculine style.

Blonde, short skirt, English fairly fluent, has heard of word processing. Selected.

Going through this presentation of CERN’s previous Ombuds Sudeshna Datta-Cockerill, I was thinking that yes, there is a change in 2020 and there is political correctness, but then again sometimes perceptions are deeply entrenched.


In the 2020 updated edition of the CERN Staff Rules and Regulations one reads:

A member of the personnel [..] shall have access to his personal administrative file.

The Director-General may, at his discretion, authorize..

The Head of the Human Resources Department shall be [..] on his own initiative..

Given the key role that language plays in shaping cultural and social attitudes, using gender-inclusive language is a powerful way to promote gender equality and not perpetuate gender stereotypes.




AI for us – ITU search for volunteers


The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) is organizing in Geneva the AI For Good conference from 4th to 8th May 2020.



During the conference, there is an event to explore gender biases in AI.

ITU is looking for women at CERN working in areas related to AI, who are interested in participating in this space as mentors and mentees.


For mentors there is interest in women working in areas related to AI at the operational level, but also as creators (including entrepreneurs) and management level, willing to provide advice during 20 minutes sessions to other women that are curious on how to grow in the AI sector, be a leader or better manager, or have a very technical conversation on AI.

Minimum experience in AI is 5 years and if possible with management and leadership experience.

Mentors choose how much they would like to participate in the event (one or several days, just a few hours, ... it's very flexible).


For more details and registrations for mentors and mentees visit https://aiforgood.itu.int/ai-for-us/ or contact equals@itu.int.



Coding Meetups


CERN-based meetups to discuss and solve algorithmic problems and optimizations w.r.t time and space complexity.

Every Tuesday at 18:00 in the room  2/R-030.

Mailing list to subscribe: coding-meetups@googlegroups.com

The meetings tend to be heavily attended by men; it’s up to us to balance this J





"I want to love *:・゚glitter゚・: * and also stand up for the double standards that exist in our society. I want to wear pink and tell you how I feel about politics. And I don’t think that those things have to cancel each other out.

I had seven witnesses and a photo backing up my claim. What happens when it’s your word against his?

I knew nothing about singer Taylor Swift, but this movie kept me very awake!






The risks and rewards of blowing the whistle at Uber.




Upcoming events


LHCb Visit and Drinks | 06 March 2020, 17:00 - 19:30

The LHCb experiment is set up to explore what happened after the Big Bang that allowed matter to survive over antimatter and build the Universe we inhabit today.

Join us in this unique opportunity to learn more about this experiment.



Film Screening and Debate | 09 March 2020, 18:15 - 21:00 | Auditorium Ivan Pictet, Maison de la paix, Geneva

The 2020 Oscar-nominated documentary The Cave recounts the incredible work of Dr Amani Ballour and her colleagues in an underground hospital in the besieged Syrian city of Eastern Ghouta.

In addition to a shortage of electricity and medical equipment, Dr Ballour tries to do her job, despite some patients refusing to be treated by a woman.



Forum Discussions | 5 March 2020 17:30 – 21:00 | Forum Rolex, Rolex Learning Center, EPFL

Visons la lune explorera le monde fascinant de l’espace et les carrières féminines dans ce domaine.

L’objectif pour l’EPFL Alumni est d’inspirer les carrières féminines en montrant des Role Models, en informant et en favorisant les échanges.






Send us your #EachForEqual pose! Equality is not a women's issue, it's a world's issue.

Let’s make a call to accelerate women’s equality on March 8th: WIT@CERN https://www.instagram.com/wit.at.cern


Wishing all wonderful weekend,

Posted by Eva on behalf of the WIT steering committee


About the Women in Technology (WIT) Community: The aim of this community is to provide an environment in which women are not in the minority when interacting with technology.

Our objectives are: to encourage women to play the role of expert; to provide a supportive learning environment; and to build a network between the Women in Technology here at CERN.

WIT welcomes members from all genders and all technical fields. Visit cern.ch/wit

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