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Women in Computing

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Women in Computing

We are committed to supporting female students and staff at all levels.

Although today women are in senior positions in academia or industry, the gender gap in Computer Science is still a worldwide concern, especially in the more advanced economies.

Athena SWAN

The Athena Swan Charter is a national award scheme set up by the Equality Challenge Unit in 2005 to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employment in higher education and research. The Department received an Athena SWAN Bronze award in 2013, which was renewed in 2016 for four years.  You can download our application. 

Our Bronze award means that we have provided extensive, detailed evidence that we encourage and ensure gender equality at all levels in the Department; we keep on looking for ways to improve.


Athena Swan 16


Some inspiring examples

Many women have made outstanding contributions to Computer Science as an academic discipline or as a profession. Here are some inspiring examples:

  • Shafi Goldwasser, a theoretical computer scientist who has twice won the Gödel prize
  • Margaret Hamilton, director of the team that developed the Apollo onboard space flight software
  • Lois Habt, one of the ten-person team that developed FORTRAN;
  • Grace Hopper, wrote one of the first compilers and her language designs were developed into the COBOL business processing language
  • Barbara Liskov, winner of the 2008 Turing Award
  • Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo
  • Susan Nycum, carried out pioneering work in the area of information security and computer crime
  • Carol Shaw, worked for Atri and is one of the first computer games designers
  • Steve Shirley, founder of the Freelance Programmers group
  • Mary Allen Wilkes, early personal computer pioneer
  • Roberta Williams, a founder of the Sierra Games organisation who designed many classical adventure games, including the Kings Quest series

We are also very proud of the many women that work, or study, or have worked or studied in the Department. These are the profiles of some of them.

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