Computer Science & AI
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.
Informatics Ladies Day
Together with VHTO, the Dutch expert organisation on girls/women and science/technology, LIAXX annually organises the national Informatics Ladies Day in Leiden. This additional Open Day welcomes girls in pre-university education (5 & 6 vwo) with an interest in new technologies, problem solving, mathematics and computers.
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 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.
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 and José Visser (contact person) form the LIAXX Committee.