womENcourage Celebrations


Check out the details about this year’s womENcourage celebration (2021) here.


Past Events

The 6th ACM Europe Celebration of Women took place in Rome, Italy, and was organised by Tiziana Catarci and Paola Velardi, Sapienza, University of Rome.  Francesca Rossi (IBM), Sihem Amer-Yahia (CNRS), Donatella Sciuto (Politecnico di Milano) and Danielle (Sparky) VanDyke (Google) were the keynote speakers.

The three-day event hosted a hackathon, workshops, posters, technical talks, panel discussions and, for the first time in the history of the celebration, interdisciplinary research tracks.

The event was attended by over 350 participants, of which 55% were students, of those we had 62% graduate and 38% undergraduate students. womENcourage had a strong showing of male attendees who made up 15% of the total attendees. The participants came from 32 countries covering four continents (Europe, Asia, Africa, and America).

Read more about the event on our blog, where several of the participants wrote about their womENcourage experience in blog posts in the series ‘My Journey in Technology’.

The 5th ACM Europe Celebration of Women took place in Belgrade, Serbia and it was all about “Creating the Future Together”. The celebration was organized by the leads of the local ACM-W Europe Chapter, Bojana Milasinovic, and Sandra Tomic.

The opening talk was by Kathleen Richardson: A dystopia in the making? – the rise and rise of ethics of robotics and AI. Prof. Tiziana Catarci, from the University of Rome “La Sapienza” moderated a panel on Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and societal challenges of “Building Computing Systems and Services for the Society”. Panellists Olja Rastic Dulborough, Adriana Wilde, and Dorota Filipczuk provided their view on the societal transformations due to the prolific adoption of digital technologies.

Participants were inspired by creative themes for the Hackathon project. On the third day of the conferences they engaged in a variety of Workshops that were selected to promote three important aspects: awareness of opportunities to expand knowledge and experience, the expansion of skills, from core professional competencies to leadership styles, and motivation to act and take initiatives towards their personal and professional goals.

Attendees commented womENcourage was “brilliant experience, fun and inspiring” and “need more of these activities to encourage women in [our respective countries] to take more initiative in engineering, IT and other technical areas of expertise”.

The 4th ACM Europe Celebration of Women in Computing in Barcelona was one of four co-located events at the ACM Europe Conference, at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), in Barcelona womENcourage had 206 attendees from 31 countries, 72 scholarships to attend the event, 74 posters, and 17 supporters that helped make it all possible.

Conference chairs were Núria Castell Ariño and Reyyan Ayfer. Silvio Micali gave the ACM Europe Turing Lecture: “ALGORAND: A new distributed ledger”. The keynote talk was by Alison Kennedy “Supercomputing – dispelling the myth of boys jobs and girl jobs”. The HPC Keynote was by Katherine Yelick: “Breakthrough Science at the Exascale”.

Participants enjoyed workshops in coding, programming and other topics; a career fair; a hackathon, where teams were given Intel’s Arduino board and IoT dev tool; and many opportunities to network.

All participants reported the infectious enthusiasm in the conference, and the importance of Celebrations in supporting our undergraduate and graduate students. Read a report in the September issue of ACM-W Connections newsletter. View photos from the womENcourage hackathon.

As the 3rd ACM-W Europe Celebration of Women in Computing kicked off in Linz, Austria, at Johannes Kepler University. The theme of the event: Crossing Borders, and was organised by Gabriele Anderst-Kotsis and Reyyan Ayfer. The opening key talk was given by Lynda Hardman: “From Linked Data to Stories”.

Justifying the theme of the celebration, tt was evident that we were in the presence of many different cultures and people from many countries. The diversity was obvious when looking at the geographic origins of attendees, who came from four out of five continents, from as far west as Colorado in the US, to as far south as South Africa and as far east as Russia. The program underscored the diversity of the event: from programming in Android, to computational music, perception, programming languages, entrepreneurship, wrapping up with a lively panel discussion: “Promoters and Prohibitors for a Career in CS” chaired by Dame Wendy Hall. The panel elaborated on career perspectives for young researchers. With this event we crossed more than just geographical borders, we also shared our technology, cultural and networking interests.

It’s Confirmed: Women Love Tech! womENcourage 2015 was held at Uppsala University, Sweden, and the participants of ACM-W Europe womENcourage Celebration of Women in Computing deemed that the Celebration was a huge success! Over 180 participants from 28 countries attended the womENcourage Celebration, which they said exceeded their expectations.

Conference chairs were María Andreína Francisco and Virginia Grande from Uppsala University, Sweden. The opening keynote was by Prof. Vicki Hanson, “Computing for Humans”, and the event closed with a keynote from Prof. Marie-Paule Cani, who talked about “Towards Expressive 3D Modeling: An example of a career in Computer Graphics”.

The attendees participated in several interesting activities including panel discussions, technical paper sessions, workshops, case studies, unconference sessions, and the hackathon.

The co-organiser of the celebration, Virginia Grande commented in an article (Swedish): “I feel that Womencourage makes a difference, students who participated in last year’s conference say that they continued their master’s studies thanks to us, it feels great!”

See the photos taken by our photographers, Kristina Lidayova and Tomas Oravec, and view the recorded sessions.

“I wanted to change the world… So I became a computer scientist.” declared a PhD student of computer science at Cambridge University during a discussion called “What can you do to change the world?” part of our first ACM-W Europe conference. Computer scientists from 28 countries convened in Manchester, UK – he home of the first stored computer and base for much of Alan Turing’s work – on Saturday, March 1st for the first womENcourage celebration of women in computing.

Conference chairs were Dr Eva Navarro López and Bev Bachmayer. Professor Dame Wendy Hall gave the keynote titled “The Power of Networks”.

Videos of talks and photos are available at our Flickr page.