BCSWomen is a Specialist Group of the British Computer Society The Chartered Institute for IT that provides networking opportunities for all BCS professional women working in IT around the world, as well as mentoring and encouraging girls and women to enter or return to IT as a career.. BCSWomen was founded by Dr Sue Black. Dr Black was the first Chair of BCSWomen, followed by Dr Karen Petrie with Dr Hannah Dee as Deputy Chair. The current Chair of BCSWomen is Gillian Arnold of Tectre. BCSWomen has the aim of supporting women working in and considering a career in Information Technology.
The group was founded in 2001. It has more than a thousand members and an active mailing list. Activities include meetings, networking, and mentoring. They organise the Undergraduate Lovelace Colloquium for undergraduate women in computing, a one day conference which started in Leeds in 2008 and now moves around the UK. named in honour of Ada Lovelace, often regarded as the first computer programmer. The colloquium is for U.K. university women students studying Computing and related subjects. It was started by Dr Hannah Dee, who continues to play a key role in its organisation every year. Many BCSWomen also participate in the annual London Hopper Colloquium, which showcases exciting work of women in computing research and enables new PhD researchers to meet with each other as well as with senior women computer scientists. Grace Hopper was a pioneering American computer scientist. BCSWomen organise other events for women in computing both technical and social, such as day trips to computer-related sites such as Bletchley Park.
Gillian Arnold, Chair of BCSWomen was invited to Korea on 27 October 2014 to receive the Gender Equality Main Streaming - Technology (GEM-TECH) award on behalf of the BCS and BCSWomen. This achievement award of the ITU - United Nations Women Joint Award, was for "Promoting Women in ICT Sector" and encouraging women to enter the computing sector and to encourage and support them during their careers.
Current and past chairs
- 2001–2008 Dr Sue Black
- 2008–2011 Dr Karen Petrie, a Dorothy Hodgkin research fellow at the University of Dundee, now a Senior Lecturer.
- 2011–current Gillian Arnold, director of Tectre
- Spotlight: BCSWomen Specialist Group, IT Now, 46(1):34, January 2004. doi:10.1093/combul/46.1.34
- Justin Richards, BCSWomen celebrates five years, Computer Weekly, 4 April 2006.
- The BCSWomen Undergraduate Lovelace Colloquium, University of Leeds, UK, 16 June 2008, 16 April 2009.
- The BCSWomen Undergraduate Lovelace Colloquium, Cardiff University[dead link], UK, 8 April 2010
- The BCSWomen Undergraduate Lovelace Colloquium, University of Birmingham, UK, 14 April 2011
- The BCSWomen Lovelace Colloquium, Bath University of Bath, UK, 12 April 2012
- The BCSWomen Lovelace Colloquium, Nottingham, University of Nottingham, UK, 4 April 2013
- Lovelace Colloquium, Aberystwyth Aberystwyth University, UK, 16 April 2014
- "BCSWomen & other BCS stuff from Hannah's Homepage".
- "Gem-Tech Awards 2014: Winners". http://www.itu.int/en/action/women/gem/Pages/award.aspx.
- Tectre, Tectre.com