Community, GHC15

Introducing Turkish Women in Computing (TWiC)

Probably most of you have already heard about Systers, our community, and some related activities. But have you met our other communities for women in computing, such as NaWiC, LatinasIC, or TWiC? Let’s meet with Turkish Women in Computing today!

Turkish Women in Computing is a volunteer based community, which constructs a bridge between Turkish women in the field and Systers everywhere, working within Anita Borg Institute of Women and Technology. It is a community that aims to unite women with STEM degrees from Turkey, to share their experiences, by supporting each other to overcome the differences. The community acts as a mentor to educate newcomers about the cultural differences, with an honest and straightforward voice that only another trusted member from the same culture can have. Another motivation for TWiCs is to publicize the presence of Turkish women in computing, because they are everywhere in every continent! Even when our number as women in computing was not bright in US, there were Turkish women in computing who were shining upon their fields, whether it be academia or industry. Their presence in GHC also proves that the community is already achieving their goals to hold us altogether.

Turkish Women in Computing was founded during a Grace Hopper Conference in 2011. Three women with PhD degrees from Turkey realized that there were many TWiCs scattered all around the world with similar goals, aspirations and perceptions about women in computing. They observed that STEM degrees are considered well-desired where they came from, in Turkey; but where were the other women in US? Why didn’t women in US feel the same way about computing the way they did? Why there was a negative publicity about women in technology here? Why didn’t girls choose their paths toward computing? What was inherent in their culture that changes their perspective about computer science? Keeping these questions in mind, the group was founded to network Turkish women with computer science background to guide them about networking, career path, office culture and also to increase the visibility of their accomplishments. Today, their Facebook group in connection with ABI is ever growing!

With such growing audience, their curiosity  led them to conduct research on why women in Turkey are increasingly attracted to this field in contrast to US, and they presented preliminary results in the Global Voices conference. They are also actively preparing articles about the careers of prominent Turkish women in computing who are well known all over the world. You can access their findings and articles from here.

Now curious about how to be a part of the community? Well, you have many options. I personally recommend getting on the e-mail list, since all Systers start with one:) You can also join the community using their facebook group, their LinkedIn group, or from twitter. For more information, you can visit their website.

Finally, you can join them at GHC! There will be a TWiC table in the community pavilion and you can meet our Turkish Systers face to face! Hope to see everyone there, reminding that we’re one day closer to GHC15:)