AI News, natural language processing blog
- On Friday, June 8, 2018
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natural language processing blog
Over the past week, in honor women of this International Women's Day, I had a several posts, broadly around the topic of women in STEM.
This post is basically a summary of the first half of that workshop, with my own personal attempt to try to interpret some of the material into an academic setting.
On the other hand, I also think it's important to discuss how men (ie me) can try to be helpful, and shying away from discussion also feels like a problem.
There's lots of research on the topic of things like unconscious bias in all sorts of settings, and studies of differences in how men and women are cited, and suggested for talks, and everything else under the sun.
(I've been on the receiving side of both such tactics, too, and have found them both effective there as well.)Another standard thing in meetings is for men to restate what a woman has stated as their own idea.
A related topic is startup: startup packages in a university are typically not public, so a variant of this is to tell your peers what your startup was.
One thing I've been trying to do when I'm invited to regular seminar series is to look at their past speakers and decide whether I would be contributing to the problem by accepting.
A personally useful thing I did was write template emails for turning down invitations or asking for more information, with a list of researchers from historically excluded groups in CS (including but not limited to women) who could be invited in my stead.
I almost never send these exactly as is, but they give me a starting point.There's a dilemma here: if every talk series, panel, etc., were gender balanced, women would be spending all their time going around giving talks and would have less time for research.
That is to say: it's easy for me to say that I'm willing to take a short term negative reward (not giving a talk) in exchange for a long term very positive reward (being part of a more diverse community that both does better science and is also more supportive and inclusive).
My understanding is that she, like most people, cannot accept honoraria as part of a company, and so she recently started asking places to donate her honoraria to good causes.
I've been working hard to follow women on social media (and to follow members of other historically excluded groups, including women).
A consistent thing I've heard is that this is a pretty low bar, especially because women who do the extra required to get to our PhD program are really really amazing.I still think this is an important factor, but this discussion at the workshop made me realize that I can also go out and learn how to be a better advisor, especially to students whose live experiences are very different than my own.
Finally (and really, thank you if you've read this far), a major problem that was made apparent to me by Bonnie Webber is that one reason that women receive fewer awards in general is because women are nominated for fewer awards (note: this is not the only reason).
It costs a few hours of my time to nominate someone for an award, or to write a letter (of course for serious awards, it's far more than a few hours to write a letter, but whatev).
I said at the beginning, what I really hope is that people will reply here with (a) suggestions for things they've been trying that seem to be working (or not!), (b) critical feedback that something here is really a bad idea and that something else is likely to be much more effective, (c) and general discussion about the broad issues of diversity and inclusion in our communities. Because
of the topic of the workshop, this is obviously focused in particular on women, but the broader discussion needs to include topics related to all historically excluded groups because what works for one does not necessary work for another.
- On Friday, January 18, 2019
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