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In Computer science, women also display their genius

On Novem­ber 23, the final of the ‘Femmes d’Avenir en infor­ma­tique’ 2021 com­pe­ti­tion took place. This com­pe­ti­tion, organ­ised by Marie Hélène Abel, direc­tor of the Com­put­er Sci­ence Depart­ment at UTC, rewards projects which aim at pro­mot­ing the ori­en­ta­tion of young women towards sci­en­tif­ic and tech­no­log­i­cal train­ing in com­put­er sciences.

There is noth­ing quite like hav­ing a com­pe­ti­tion to moti­vate women to enter the field of com­put­er engi­neer­ing in all its forms. The under­rep­re­sen­ta­tion of women among engi­neers varies accord­ing to the field . Indeed, they are still large­ly in the minor­i­ty in com­put­er engi­neer­ing. Hence the idea of the Femmes d’Avenir en infor­ma­tique com­pe­ti­tion, cre­at­ed with the sup­port of the UTC Part­ner­ship Foun­da­tion for Inno­va­tion. “Orga­nized last Novem­ber for the first time, with a jury com­posed of part­ners from the eco­nom­ic world, com­mu­ni­ca­tors, teach­ers and experts, this con­test aims at pro­mot­ing the train­ing giv­en at UTC and the engi­neer­ing pro­fes­sions in com­put­er sci­ence to young women. But also to fight against pre­con­ceived ideas and gen­der stereo­types, with­out for­get­ting to pro­mote gen­der equal­i­ty and to encour­age young women to become engi­neers in com­put­er sci­ence,” insists Marie-Hélène Abel, direc­tor of the Com­put­er Sci­ence Engi­neer­ing depart­ment, the first woman in this depart­ment since March 2020. A Depart­ment that has less than 25% female par­tic­i­pa­tion. As for grad­u­ates, in 2021 there will be 40 women com­pared to 115 men. 

Women are the soul and future for the digital world 

Among the projects pro­posed are the organ­i­sa­tion of con­fer­ences held by female lec­tur­er-research sci­en­tists and grad­u­ates of the UTC, as well as an exhi­bi­tion on com­put­er sci­ence hero­ines. Anoth­er pro­pos­al con­sists of cre­at­ing video tuto­ri­als to present the com­put­er sci­ence professions. 

The idea also arose to change the name of the Com­put­er Sci­ence depart­ment to Dig­i­tal. A group of stu­dents from UTC even want to go and speak in sec­ondary schools to raise aware­ness of this sub­ject among the youngest. “Oth­ers sug­gest­ed cre­at­ing an Insta­gram account or even an asso­ci­a­tion. In all, six projects were pre­sent­ed by stu­dents and grad­u­ates, and sev­er­al of their ideas will be imple­ment­ed very soon. We will cer­tain­ly relaunch the com­pe­ti­tion at the end of the year in a dif­fer­ent form,” says Marie-Hélène Abel, who has been UTC’s ‘equal­i­ty’ advi­sor since Decem­ber 2021.

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