A Look Back on IEEE Computer Society’s Diversity and Inclusion Commitment and Investment
As we look forward to a refreshed new year, our team spent some time assessing our values, our commitment to them, and creating an action plan for living them out daily.
In 2021, for IEEE’s 75th anniversary, we launched the Diversity and Inclusion Fund, a program that empowered our community to increase inclusivity throughout all areas of computing. We began by giving grants for programs and activities that impact equity and inclusivity in the computer science community. For example, hackathons that reached a wider group of demographics or workshops that directly addressed topics like bias mitigation or social justice and equity.
In 2022, we launched an interview program with members from equity-seeking communities, sharing their stories on our blog and Youtube, and disseminating them through our newsletters and social media. In addition, to sharing resources of books, research, and other literature to learn more.
Since then, we’ve interviewed diverse voices and stories from the computing community. Here are a few standout examples:
Hispanic Heritage Month celebrated the vibrant voices of Hispanic and Latino computing professionals, sharing podcasts, interviews, and other resources on issues that touched this community — from studying abroad to the challenges of being first-generation immigrants.
Pride Month focused on elevating the unique challenges of LGBTQ+ professionals navigating career trajectories and being their authentic selves in the workplace.
We’ve seen tremendous excitement and progress around the Diversity and Inclusion Fund — and we’re thrilled to quadruple our investment and add US $400,000 to the fund in 2023!
Introducing the Theme of 2023: Connection and Belonging
However, we know this is just the start. We’re excited to build on the efforts of the last few years and launch 2023 around a new theme —“Connection and Belonging!” This guiding-light theme will help us focus on nurturing equity and inclusion through honest conversation around the barriers and biases facing members of our community.
Our continued goal is to dissolve obstacles within the computing community. Throughout the year, we’ll highlight various communities to bring visibility and stimulate learning.
Impacts So Far
Through our Diversity and Inclusion Fund, IEEE brings together multiple different equity-seeking communities at different stages of their careers. Over the last few years, programs have brought together BIPOC high-school students, taught computer literacy in rural communities, and introduced other key initiatives. Proposal submission will open in the fall, and proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis as funding becomes available. Proposals should fall within the US $5,000 to US $15,000 range.
One program to highlight is IEEE CS Kerala Section, which worked to increase computer literacy among the estimated 35 million people in Kerala, India. First, the program sought to reach women, and now in the second phase, the outreach focuses on school-age children.
Another exciting initiative is CS Assist, a newly launched committee for people to report ethics-based concerns. Regarding bullying, harassment, or discrimination, computing professionals have a place to report these violations safely.
Upcoming 2023 Heritage Months
Come back to this page each month for updated resources, research, interviews, and literature from these communities. You can expect to see more interviews and resources during the following months:
Engaging beyond simply absorbing knowledge is important, and there are multiple ways to stay actively involved in IEEE’s diversity and inclusion work.
1. Bookmark This Page
Bookmark this page to revisit new updates each month for resources along that month’s theme. We’re honored to build a place for equity-seeking communities to highlight their experiences and also share with those who want to learn and grow. Follow along our mission to bring visibility to inequity in computer science.
Our anonymous survey on EDI activities helps measure what’s impactful and what you want to see. We closely read through responses and work to enact activities based on this feedback.
Check out open volunteer opportunities, and sign up to volunteer to impact diversity and inclusion. Complete the volunteer form here. From conferences to publications, there are multiple ways to get involved.
Walk Into 2023 With Making a Difference
By fostering an environment that values and respects diverse human experiences, we can connect to impact equity and belonging. We walk into 2023 with a passion for celebrating new voices and experiences with action-oriented initiatives to engage our community and elevate these stories. Don’t forget to bookmark this page, as it will house all the updates this year!