In 2021, N8 Centre of Excellence for Computationally Intensive Research (N8 CIR) officially became a Women in High Performance Computing (WHPC) chapter. As an N8 institution, all women and non-binary people at the University of Manchester who use high performance computing (HPC) or work with HPC are eligible to join the chapter, as well as male allies who want to help improve diversity in HPC.
The chapter aims to create a community within N8 CIR that is inclusive and welcoming to people from all backgrounds. There is a focus on creating a gender balance which will help to build diversity and inclusivity within the community as well as improving the accessibility of events and activities, in particular for people with disabilities.
The key goals of the chapter are to:
- Raise the profile of the issue of gender balance and inclusivity in N8 CIR, and with the academics we work with.
- Better understand key issues limiting the uptake of training places by women, with the aim of improving gender balance at training workshops.
- Examine issues regarding lack of women in senior roles in the HPC environment – what are the barriers? What interventions would help?
- Raise the profile of people from underrepresented groups within the HPC environment across the N8 through e.g. case studies, interviews and Twitter posts.
The chapter have set up an action group consisting of academics, Research Software Engineers (RSEs), researchers, and senior managers, that meets online at least 3 times a year with one meeting planned as an “open meeting”, inviting chapter members from across N8. The objective of this group is to define, implement and monitor actions for better diversity, inclusion and accessibility across the N8.
Currently the chapter is working on various activities around improving EDI in the N8 universities and our CIR community, such as an EDI checklist for recruitment, best practices to increase diversity in hackathon teams, women-led HPC training, and workshops around accessibility and ally skills.
If you would like to become a member of the N8 CIR WHPC chapter, please sign up as an individual member of WHPC (it's free!) and select "N8 CIR" as your chapter. If you are already a WHPC member you can select N8 CIR as a chapter in your preferences.