WIT analyses and recommends

In the view of CERN's upcoming 5-yearly review exercise, we have been working the past months into formulating your input into concrete recommendations to the CERN Management and to the Staff Association.


The Personnel Statistics show that:

  • The female representation in STEM-related positions is 14%.
  • Only 16% of Staff members with grade above 6 are female.
  • 25% of applicants to Staff job openings are female comparing to 75% male.
  • Over the last 10 years, the percentage of female Staff members -in all categories- has remained stable at 20%.


With the Strategic Objective of attracting, recruiting and retaining female representation into STEM and in particular into leadership roles in the Organization, the wit-sc proposes the following policy recommendations:

  1. Definition of a gender action plan.

This will support the implementation of gender-related decisions -which may include definition of priority areas, key activities and indicators, timelines for implementation.

  1. Equal paternity and Maternity leave.

A step towards structurally embedding gender equality in CERN operations.

  1. Consolidation of harassment reports and statistics.

With current statistics showing that female Ombud visitors are 2.5 times more than male, an environment where women feel safe needs to be sustained.

Give us your feedback: https://wit-discuss.web.cern.ch/t/wit-analyses-and-recommends/105



Do words matter?

Many heated debates have taken place the past weeks on the use of certain software/hardware terminology, such as whitelist/blacklist and master/slave.  As expected, this topic is not without controversy.


Maybe the only way to progress on this matter is to show that a positive culture change can be made without much fuss and endless argument.

Kubernetes for example, started fresh and uses terms like nodes, replicas or workers instead of slaves, and I have not found any protest about this!


More on the subject:







Do street names matter?

Last week we shared the story of NASA naming its headquarters building in Washington, D.C. after Mary W. Jackson.

A relevant action took place last year in the Ville de Genève.


Having a look at the street names at CERN we find out that out of the 56 streets named after people, 2 are females: Marie Curie and Chien-Shiung Wu.

Could we one day see a building named after Lise Meitner, for example?

We choose the history we tell. Just few years ago it was illegal for women to attend University; celebrating the ones who made it, telling their stories and naming the streets could be critical for motivating future generations.



Think pink, pack black, add a colourful scarf

20 incredible women on what they wish they had known at 20.


Times will change and so will attitudes. You can help change them. It won’t be easy. There will be pitfalls and rejections.

During good times, don’t get puffed up: puffed is always hazardous. Oh, and do something about the wardrobe. Think pink, pack black, add a colourful scarf. That’s all you need.




Job Openings

New fellow positions in field of computing at CERN:



Machine learning in particle and astrophysics at the new Center for Data and Computing in Natural Science in Hamburg:


Wishing you all a wonderful weekend,

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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