Past Januari I visited UTwente for my first real symposium. I had the opportunity to present some of my Master Thesis work.
It wasn't just the first time for me, this whole symposium was a new initiative, organized by female faculty at the University of Twente. The aim of the day was to celebrate women in Computer Science. I really liked this approach. Not necessarily because we (as women) need more attention, but because it may be hard to come into contact with other female scientists in daily life, as there are relatively few of us among the males.
On this day, I was able to meet many female (PhD) students and other academic personnel. This, in combination with the talks on the day itself was a good reminder of why it is so important to aim for more balanced teams. Combined teams of men and women will come to different solutions than teams of only men, or only women.
The organisers had also developed a gallery of contributions of women in Computer Science, as such inspirations are often untouched in Computer Science education. On further introspection, I don't know many male contributors either. I guess I've never taken the time to dive into the history of my field.
Besides showcasing women in Computer Science, the day also provided space for discussing each others' work through poster exhibitions. I also had a poster there, and received lots of feedback from different people. In the end, I even won a prize for my poster, which is a great start to my PhD. The fact that I won also means that this poster will be displayed at ICT.OPEN in March 2020, which is the next event I will visit.
I really enjoyed the event and think it is a great initiative. I had many good discussions and examined new research topics. I hope that Alice&Eve will become a recurring event, as the organisers are aiming for.