Equity and diversity are essential to academic excellence. An open and diverse community fosters the inclusion of voices that have been underrepresented or discouraged. In 2000, the department formed the Focus of Women in Computer Science (FoWCS) Committee, a group comprising of students, faculty and staff and tasked with increasing the participation of women in computer science at UBC. Today, roughly 33% of the department’s undergraduate population is female, while nearly 25% of its faculty, graduate students, and technical staff are women, making it an international academic leader in promoting the participation of women in computer science.
Recognizing that women aren't the only underrepresented group in computer science, the department established the Committee for Outreach, Diversity and Equity (CODE) in 2017 to support all underrepresented or marginalized groups.
CODE works to:
- Help the department become inclusive of all people, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, or creed
- Identify best practices with respect to equity and diversity, and communicate those practices to faculty, staff and students
- Identify and respond to equity and diversity issues in the student body
- Engage in community events that simultaneously communicate the value of computer science education and lead to greater diversity in the student body
Future work by the committee may also synchronize with the BC Human Rights Code on representation irrespective of race, socioeconomic status, disability, political belief, religion, and status as a First Nation, Metis, Inuit or Indigenous person.
Image credit: Hover Collective/UBC Brand & Marketing
The ultimate goal of the committee is to help ensure that the department’s composition represents that of society as a whole and that all students, staff, and faculty have the support they need to excel.