Skip to main content

Women in the department

department stats

Our greatest asset is our people, so we are committed to increasing our diversity and gender representation in the department, so all students and staff feel supported and included whilst with us and in their future careers.

As the department's first female Head, I have witnessed the ongoing progress of gender equality within our field both through my own career as a woman in computer science, and through those of the colleagues and students I have worked alongside. Professor Leslie Ann Goldberg, Head of Department

What we are doing to increase gender representation

  • The department has held an Athena Swan Bronze Award since 2014, acknowledging our support for gender equality and taking actions to advance this.
  • Our work on admissions and outreach has contributed to a rising number of female students.
  • Four of our ten research themes are led by women.
  • We offer various scholarships to support women getting into computer science, including the Optiver Foundation Scholarship and the DeepMind Scholarship.

If you want to learn more about our equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) commitments, please read here.

Current students

International women's day takeover with Kelsey Doerksen

Our female and non-binary students are very active within our computer science community. There is a student run society called OxWocs for women and gender minorities in computer science.

We have also seen a gradual increase in female undergraduate offer holders, a direct result from our ongoing outreach programmes designed to increase our admissions diversity.

Current female students 2023/24

Graduated students

A conversation with alumna Anne-Marie Imafidon

Our students go on to do a wide range of things after studying with us at Oxford, we know our graduates are changing the world and making change within computer science.

We keep in contact with our alumnus that opt for us to and it is always a pleasure to see what they get up to. Recently, we worked with our alumna Anne-Marie Imafidon who went on to co-found the social enterprise Stemettes.

Read about more of our graduated student stories here:

Learn more about our female research and teaching staff

Our female researchers conduct ground-breaking research and our female teaching staff are part of a team offering world-class teaching. Four of our ten research themes are led by women: Leslie Ann Goldberg is our theme lead for Algorithms and Complexity Theory, Marta Kwiatkowska for Automated Verification, Blanca Rodriguez for Computational Biology & Health Informatics, and Niki Trigoni for Systems.

Our female theme leads, research, and teaching staff are all recognised for their excellence. Professor Marta Kwiatkowska, for instance, was the first women to win the Milner Award, while Professor Sadie Creese is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Council on Cyber Security and has given oral evidence at the Science, Innovation and Technology Committee, and Carolyn Ten Holter has been awarded an OPEN Fellowship. Read about the activities of some more of our department's female academics and researchers here.

History of Women in Computer Science

We have a long history at the department, having been set up under Leslie Fox in 1957, as Oxford University Computing Laboratory (OUCL). In 1960, Joan Walsh was celebrated as the first OUCL woman to be awarded a DPhil. Joan's success represented the beginnings of a longstanding commitment to the central role of women in the department and computing as a whole. Linda Hayes worked at the Computing Laboratory from 1965-1977, starting as the Departmental Research Assistant to Leslie Fox, before becoming the Head of User Services. Linda has spoken with us about her time spent with us and you can find the fascinating conversation in our 'Oxford Women in Computing: An Oral History' podcast here. You can read about our 'Women in Computing at Oxford, from the pioneers to now' in our article here.


  • Professor Ana Namburete, has published a policy brief on a study presenting the 'Fetal Brain Atlas', the first digital atlas mapping how the human brain develops in the womb. Led by the University of Oxford, the study involved a team of more than 200 researchers from health and science across the world.
  • Professor of Cybersecurity, Sadie Creese, joined a panel of experts at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos to discuss cybersecurity in the face of prevailing global geopolitical and economic turbulence.
  • Doctoral Student Sarah Abdullah Aldaweesh has received a 2023 Rawabi Holdings honour for her research work in promoting the mental well-being of young people.
  • Doctoral Student Lia Yeh is one of 67 doctoral students around the world, and the only one in the UK, to be awarded a 2023 Google PhD Fellowship.

Opportunities and OxWocs events