SC16 Salt Lake City, UT

Women in HPC: Intersectionality

Authors: Dr. Rebecca Hartman-Baker (National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center)

BP Abstract: There are many groups that are under-represented in the HPC community, including women and African-Americans, but particularly poorly represented are those that fall into the intersection of two or more underrepresented groups. In this BOF, we hear the stories of women of different minority backgrounds in the HPC field, and the complex intersection between gender, race, sexual orientation and more, and how this has shaped their experience in HPC. We ask these women for their advice on making the HPC field more inclusive for people of all backgrounds.

Long Description: Women are underrepresented in the HPC field, as are other groups, such as African Americans, Latin@s, and LGBT. Too often these groups are viewed as monolithic, when in actuality they are composed of individuals who sometimes fall into more than one category (e.g., African-American woman). In this BOF, we give the platform to individuals who are at the intersection of the set of women and another underrepresented group. We will have 4 panelists with intersectional identities, who will speak about their experience as members of more than one underrepresented group. A frequent criticism of groups purporting to support women is that the focus is often on straight white women, and marginalizes women who belong to other underrepresented groups. This year we hope to address this concern by holding a BoF to discuss the impact of intersectional identities (i.e., identifying as a member of more than one underrepresented group) in high-performance computing. In particular, we are interested in learning from the panelists: * How has your experience in HPC, as a member of two or more underrepresented groups, differed from the experience of those who are members of only one of those groups? * In what ways has being a member of one group informed your experience in the other? * How does the community of women in HPC fall short in addressing your needs and issues in HPC, and what changes can we make to create a more welcoming environment for all? Each panelist will speak for ten minutes each, describing her path into HPC and addressing some of the questions posed above, and then for the remaining 50 minutes we will open the floor to the audience for questions. Throughout the session we will try to tease out some common themes in the stories of the panelists and derive a set of actions to encourage all women's success in HPC.

Conference Presentation: pdf

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