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Computer Science & AI

Diversity and Inclusion

LIACS aims at being a diverse and inclusive research institute. To reach this goal, two instances are working on addressing diversity related issues.

Initiated in 2020, the diversity committee aims at counseling the management team of LIACS for diversity related decisions and policies. We monitor the diversity within LIACS, amplify the voices of minorities toward the management team and collaborate with the various diversity related instances of the university to improve their visibility.


  • Monitoring diversity within LIACS
    Establishing a diverse and inclusive environment is a continuous process which critically depends on open and free interactions with all LIACS members. First and foremost, we are here to listen, and to discuss any and all issues related to diversity and inclusion, in absolute confidence and without judgement, and to advise on possible courses of action.
  • Thriving for more inclusive workspaces and classrooms at LIACS
    We work at facilitating the implementation of the best strategies and policies, in coordination with the management team, which will make LIACS feel like home for all. We explore avenues for improvement of inclusivity at LIACS, and strive to identify the multi-faceted obstacles towards a more inclusive workspace within our institution.
  • Collaborating with other diversity initiatives within LIACS, the Faculty of Science and the University of Leiden
    We maintain close ties with numerous related initiatives in other institutions, sharing experiences and knowledge. We facilitate an open dialogue with various organisations which highlight underrepresented groups within Leiden University.


  • Vedran Dunjko (chair)
  • Akrati Saxena
  • Lu Cao
  • Marcel Tichelaar
  • Nathan Daniel Schiele
  • Márton Fejér 
  • Waheeda Saib


For all diversity and inclusion issues please email us at
Alternatively, you can also email any of the Diversity Committee members directly using their personal email.

At the Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science (LIACS) the number of female students and academic staff annually increases. In most programmes women are however still outnumbered. In 2015 LIACS initiated LIAXX (pronounce ‘liacs-double-x’), the LIACS’ women’s network for (future) students, PhD candidates and staff.


LIAXX organises bi-annual lunches: around Ada Lovelace Day (second Tuesday of October) and around International Women’s Day (March 8th). Being at the beginning of the academic year, the first lunch is primarily meant for new female students to get acquainted with other women at LIACS. The second lunch, at the start of the spring semester, offers more room for feedback from the women at LIACS.   


Each year, LIAXX organises a workshop on International Women's Day about a topic that is both interesting and useful for women working at LIACS. For example, there has been a workshop about stress relief.


Each year LIAXX invites a LIACS alumna for a lecture. The goal of this event is to provide positive visibility for women in Computer Science and to hear about the different career paths one can take after graduation. These lectures are well-attended, by both students and staff of all genders.

‘You can't be what you can't see’

The pronunciation of LIAXX seems similar to LIACS, reflecting the similarities and equality of men and women within the institute. Being female in the field of Computer Science however comes with a special set of challenges that occasionally deserve some extra consideration. And that attention is provided by LIAXX.

LIAXX Committee

LIACS (and thus LIAXX) is represented in IPN Diversity, the division of the Dutch ICT Research Platform that actively enhances diversity in ICT by stimulating the participation of women and minorities.

Jetty Kleijn, Jeannette de Graaf, Lu Cao, Alexandra Blank, Natalia Amat Lefort, Judith Janssen and Tanjona Ralaivaosaona form the LIAXX Committee.

Diversity Office Leiden University
LGBT+ Network
Sophia Women's Network
Fenestra Disability Centre
Barrier-Free Studying
Researchers in Science for Equality



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