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FAQ

  1. Why does OxWoCS exist?
  2. What can OxWoCS do for me?
  3. What can I do for OxWoCS?
  4. What is the representation of women in the department?
  5. Who can get involved?
  6. How can I get involved as a sponsor?
  7. What is Oxford's equal opportunities policy?
  8. What has OxWoCS achieved so far?

1. Why does OxWoCS exist?

OxWoCS was founded in July 2013 by a group of DPhil students and PostDocs with the aim of supporting and promoting the women in the department, and empowering them to make an impact on computer science. OxWoCS also aims to make the departmental culture more open, accepting and welcoming to all members of the department. Due to various cultural stereotypes, many young women today don't see computer science as an attractive career option. Women are significantly underrepresented in the Computer Science department's across the world, both at the student and the faculty level. The Oxford Department of Computer Science is no exception to these statistics, with women being underrepresented at every level (for the current statistics see question 4).

2. What can OxWoCS do for me?

OxWoCS runs a variety of events throughout the year, including the Distinguished Speaker Seminar Series, social events, and industry events. For details about these see the events section.

We also advertise other events relevant to women in computer science and collect information about sponsorship opportunities and other women in computer science societies. Details can be found in the useful information section.

For some UK-based events, OxWoCS offers reimbursements of travel, child care, and other related costs. These events will generally be advertised by email as well as on the OxWoCS website. For more information about reimbursements, contact the committee directly.

3. What can I do for OxWoCS?

We're always happy for people to join the committee and help with the day-to-day running of the society. If you're not sure about committing for a longer period of time, you can also help organise specific events. The Oxbridge Women in Computer Science Conference in particular is a good opportunity to get involved; if you are interested in helping organise this event, please get in touch with the conference organiser.

4. What is the representation of women in the department?

As of March 2018, 18% of academic and research staff in the department were women. According to a snapshot taken on 1 December 2017, the percentage of women on our courses (across single honours, joint honours, full-time and part-time) was: undergraduates: 17.3%; taught postgraduates: 14.0%; and research postgraduates: 18.7%.

5. Who can get involved?

All members of the department can get involved with OxWoCS, no matter their gender. Society events are usually open to everyone, though some events co-organised with our sponsors may come with restrictions which will be clearly explained in the event description.

We also welcome people who are not members of the Oxford Department of Computer Science but share our interests. This includes academic visitors to the department as well as members of other University of Oxford departments. People who are not on any of the Computer Science department mailing lists but would like to receive information about our events are welcome to sign up to the external OxWoCS mailing list.

6. How can I get involved as a sponsor?

OxWoCS offers various sponsorship opportunities which are detailed in the sponsorship section of the website. For more information, contact the President. The past events page has information about some of the past events we co-organised with our sponsors.

7. What is Oxford's equal opportunities policy?

Information about the university's equal opportunities policy and related resources can be found on the following pages:

8. What has OxWoCS achieved so far?

In our first year, we organised an official Launch Event, three Distinguished Speaker seminars, a Welcome Event for new students, regular coffee meetings, as well as a number of other social and industry events. Among those was a Google speaker event co-organised with the Oxford Women in Business Society, and a trip to the Facebook London Office. In May 2014 we organised the first-ever joint event with all of the University of Oxford women's societies: Oxford Women's Garden Party, which was booked to capacity at 130 attendees.

The first Oxbridge Women in Computer Science Conference, co-organised with Cambridge women@CL, was held in February 2014 in Cambridge and had 55 attendees, split roughly evenly between the two universities. Our workshop on how to apply for the Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship was also very popular.

OxWoCS was furthermore able to provide reimbursement of the travel costs for all interested attendees of the 2014 ACM womENcourage Conference, the 2014 London Hopper Colloquium and the Karen Spärck Jones lecture.