Idiap supports the next generation of women in computer science

The shortage of computer developers is impacting many sectors. Increasing the share of women in this area would partly address this shortage. Idiap is committed in this direction by raising girls' awareness and proposing a fellowship program for female researchers.

Bearded, hiding behind thick glasses and addicted to his computer. The cliché of the computer scientist is still strong, but it hides a reality: professionals in this domain are overwhelmingly men. The challenge goes beyond fighting the clichés. "Talents are distributed equally between women and men. It is therefore very harmful to deprive oneself of female skills, especially in domains related to technology, "says Luciana Vaccaro, Rector of the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland. The shortage of talent is particularly important and it is essential to drastically increase the number of people trained in the field. Young women are one of the essential solutions to achieve this. Idiap Research Institute is involved in such solutions through various initiatives.

Stimulate vocations and facilitate careers

During the “Futur en tous genres” Day (Future for all genders) on November 8, the Institute welcomed a group of 20 girls, aged 10 to 12 years. In addition to discovering the diversity of the various jobs that make up Idiap's daily life, they participated in 5 different workshops: programming a robot, detecting a false identity thanks to biometrics, learning sign language thanks to the artificial intelligence, computer editing of images and demonstrations of Idiap’s technologies such as people tracking, object detection, voice activation, etc.

To serve as a model for the young, several female researchers helped by their male colleagues presented these workshops. An important role as underlined by Luciana Vaccaro: "As a physicist, mother of 2 girls and now rector of a University with more than 21'000 students, I hope that my career can also inspire young women.” The aim of this day with many discoveries was to give more confidence to young girls to get involved in the technical fields.

In addition to these upstream initiatives, Idiap also offers an incentive fellowship for women's careers in artificial intelligence. The aim is to propose to professionals in the academic and / or industrial field to develop a project within the Institute to consolidate their scientific career or develop a more personal research topic. With this fellowship, candidates can also access the hardware and scientific resources of Idiap, as well as benefit from the Institute's network.

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