Next weekend, I'll be heading to San Mateo to attend this year's CRA-W Grad Cohort Workshop. Cool!
It almost feels like overkill to say "I've been accepted to attend a workshop", since the application process was so simple. Pretty much all I had to do was complete a form confirming that I was a real live actual female computer science Ph.D. student. It took fewer than five minutes. I didn't need references. I didn't have to write any essays. I've been in grad school for less than a year; I don't have any publications; I haven't given the workshop organizers any particular reason to believe I'm special -- and yet they're willing to pay for me to fly across the country and put me up in a hotel so that I can attend this event.
I had a conversation about this with one of the professors in my department, and she pointed out that the cost of a short trip to the west coast is a pretty small investment in return for having another woman who devotes her 40-50 year career to computer science. That helps put it in perspective, if you believe that diversity is important for its own sake (which I do).1
- But it seems to imply that the workshop organizers have assumed that I'm going to be a computer scientist for 40 or 50 years. That would be a very big assumption to make.