Priority on Inclusivity Spans SC17 in Denver
SCinet is working to zap the gender gap in network engineering and high performance computing.Thanks to a grant from the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy and the Energy Sciences Network, six professionals from throughout the U.S. are bringing their knowledge, skills and abilities to build and operate SCinet for SC17 in Denver.
This year’s Women in IT Networking at SC (WINS) participants include Renuka Arya, Tania Jareen, Maria Kalyvaki, Kate Robinson, Dori Sajdak, and Soledad Toledano. As a member of the SCinet Communications Team, Dr. Kalyvaki interviewed the other five WINS members [Her full interview will be published shortly].
Moreover, inclusivity is integrated throughout the SC conference. One component of SC17’s inclusivity efforts recognizes how family and work are intertwined. The conference offers resources for parents and families such as a parent’s room and a family day with opportunities for children and grandchildren to be part of the HPC community at SC.
Recognizing the role of family in passing the passion for HPC onto the next generation, we asked three of the WINS participants to share their thoughts on how parents and families can help close the gender gap in HPC and network engineering by the way they raise their children.
Tania Jareen, network engineer at Purdue University and member of the SCinet routing team, said her parents made it clear that doing well in science was a high priority in their family.
“My parents provided the foundation that allowed me to become an engineer. I, along with my two elder sisters, was raised in an environment where we had a lot of opportunities to excite more passion about science. My parents were always concerned about our good education.”
Renuka Arya, also a member of the SCinet routing team and researcher in networking at the Center for Data Intensive Science (CDIS) at the University of Chicago, said her three-year-old daughter motivates her to reflect on how her parents encouraged her achievement.
“Being supportive, what I try to do and what my parents said to me is give her an environment where she can make her own decision, think broadly and not put any kind of restrictions on her to let her do whatever she wants to in life.”
Dori Sajdak, senior systems administrator at the University at Buffalo and member of the SCinet devops team, said while binary thinking may be helpful in computer science, her 18-year-old daughter and 15-year-old son have shown her a more nuanced approach at home.
“A girl may not choose typical girl activities and a boy may not opt for typical boy things either. My daughter played sports and my son was in theatre. They just got to decide what they liked and they tried whatever they wanted to try. I think that’s the best thing you can do for any child.”
In addition to NSF and DOE support, WINS is a joint effort between the Energy Sciences Network (ESnet), the Keystone Initiative for Network Based Education and Research (KINBER), the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) and SCinet.
Visit the SCinet WINS website for more information about the program.