HPC Professor signs joint letter to support women working in HPC in Switzerland

Florina M. Ciorba

Florina Ciorba, Asst. Prof. University of Basel

The International Day of Women and Girls is Science, celebrated worldwide since 2016 on February 11, represents a great celebration for all women in science but especially for the women in High-Performance Computing (HPC) in Switzerland. We are pleased to announce that Florina Ciorba, Asst. Professor for HPC at University of Basel is one of the four joint signatories to a letter calling for the establishment of a new group to support women working in HPC in Switzerland. The full text of the letter can be found below:

Scientists and engineers with diverse backgrounds and interests are key for progress in science and technology, and for the benefit of wider society. The untapped potential of young girls not even considering technology as a possible curriculum, and of female scientists who decide to switch careers because of obstacles, represents a loss of opportunities.

This gap is even wider when it comes to computer science, where it is estimated that females represent around 15% of the workforce. We are group of professional women, all passionate about HPC, with different career tracks within the field, each with our own experience, and who are willing to share and act to improve this situation. We have decided to unite and will work to gather support for actions such as the following:
• Raising awareness of the chronic under-representation of women in IT-related fields, as well as the impact this has.

• Promoting the achievements of young female scientists and engineers, providing them with improved visibility and a stronger voice.

• Helping to provide role models and mentoring.

• Creating a network to help connect those working in Switzerland with similar initiatives in other countries.

In the coming months, we will work to form a structured group, which we would like to connect with Women in HPC, either as an affiliate or as a new chapter. We plan to have a session detailing this nascent initiative at the PASC20 conference at the University of Geneva end of June. Stay tuned for more information. We look forward to meeting you soon.

Sadaf Alam, CTO Swiss National Supercomputing Centre
Florina Ciorba, Asst. Prof. University of Basel
Maria Girone, CERN openlab CTO
Marie-Christine Sawley, director of Intel’s Exascale Lab in Paris