Wednesday, June 11, 2008

ACM, ACM-W, and Great Advice

I was recently elected to the Council of the ACM for a 4 year term as one of 5 members-at-large. My initial decision to run is thanks to much encouragement from my colleague and mentor, Gabby Silberman. I’m extremely honoured to be serving with the tremendous talented people who were also elected and to be counted among those who have served on ACM Council in the past.

Some time ago, I joined the listserv for ACM-W (the ACM committee on Women in Computing). From the website, ACM-W “celebrates, informs and supports women in computing, and works with the ACM-W community of computer scientists, educators, employers and policy makers to improve working and learning environments for women”. I have benefited from being part of that community by reading with pleasure and pride the posts which share information, encouragement, and suggestions.

The first ACM-W newsletter was recently published and it is full of interesting profiles and articles. There is an interview with Fran Allen (first woman to win the ACM Turing Award) that I thought was terrific. I knew Fran when I was at IBM and have been a long time admirer of hers. She is an amazing mentor to so many people. I really like the advice Fran gives in her interview so wanted to point to it here: "Focus on your work, not your career – that will happen later; build professional networks; get multiple mentors and be a mentor; nearly all projects involve teams and there is evidence that diverse teams produce the best results, also they are the most interesting; have fun."

I think it’s great advice whether you are working in industry or in academia or going to school.