Report on the 1st Summit on Gender Equality in Computing (GEC '19), along with photos and video

The 1st Summit on Gender Equality in Computing, organized by the Greek ACM-W Chapter, took place in Athens, Greece on June 7, 2019. It brought together students, researchers and professionals in the field of Computer Science. The Summit was attended by 121 participants, out of whom almost half were students. All participants were inspired by the talks and activities that took place during the Summit, and enjoyed the offered opportunities for networking and sharing experiences. 

The programme included four keynote talks touching upon different aspects of gender equality in computing:

• Computer Science is Female, Yannis Ioannidis, ATHENA Research and Innovation Center & National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
• Very few females in Greek Computing Education: Why is the landscape so?, Maria Kordaki, Department of Cultural Technology, University of the Aegean
• On super chickens, red threads and small actions that can have a big impact, Geraldine Fitzpatrick, Human Computer Interaction Group, TU Wien
• Invisible mechanisms of reproduction of gender stereotypes in computing: Findings from the humanities, Aristotle Tympas, Department of History and Philosophy of Science, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

The speakers provided a clear picture of the landscape of the participation of women in Greek Computing Education, touched upon some of the potential reasons why there is gender disparity in individuals opting for Computer Science and Engineering, and discussed measures, actions and steps that should be taken to increase the presence of women at all levels, not only in computer science education but also in academic and industrial position of authority and leadership. They also shared their own experiences in working with female colleagues and explained the importance of the presence of females in highly technical work environments. Some talks revealed some of the invisible mechanisms of reproduction of gender stereotypes, e.g. the role of computing advertisements in various media.

The path for women in computer science may be challenging. Still, women have the chance to define and own their own paths, becoming more aware of their strengths and the red thread that gives coherence and meaning to their work. This can be done collectively, learning how to become a super colleague, not a super chicken, and choosing kinder, more compassionate, and more solution-focused ways of engaging.

Geraldine Fitzpatrick, Human Computer Interaction Group, TU Wien

GEC '19 keynote speakers


The poster and flash talks sessions of GEC 2019 offered the opportunity to undergraduate, graduate and PhD students, as well as young researchers and professionals of any gender, to share insights and knowledge with other participants, senior researchers and professionals in the field, to disseminate their research work and to receive comments about it, to practice their presentation skills and build confidence in presenting research work, and to benefit from discussing their ideas with the other GEC participants. The poster session included 35 posters out of 42 submissions. All poster submissions were peer reviewed by the Poster Evaluation Committee and all accepted poster presentations are available on the Greek ACM-W website. The poster session was commended for its high quality in both content and presentation skills.

GEC '19 poster session

The Professional Development track provided GEC attendees the unique opportunity to meet and discuss with the event’s industrial sponsors and other stakeholders. The track touched upon a wide variety of topics, including new technological and digital skills that are deemed necessary and crucial to possess; the significance of additional skills that fit into the “soft skills” category and ways to improve them; management and mastery topics; networking, finding, and maintaining productive collaborations; career paths for technical, business, and management; collaborating and managing upwards and sideways; crucial and difficult conversations in the workplace; balance and success in career; the importance of role models; and other topics.
The track hosted five interesting talks, mainly by women in senior positions in the industrial track, who shared their experience and their working paths with the attendees.

Speakers at GEC 2019 Professional Track

  • Magda Constantelou, IBM Human Resources Director for Greece and Cyprus
  • Effi Psychogiou, Tech Cloud Customer Success Senior Director, Oracle ECEMEA
  • Natalia Manola, Managing Director, OpenAire
  • Thalia Andriopoulou, HR Manager, ATOS
  • Evgenia Vagianou, Deree - The American College of Greece

Last but not least, GEC 2019 hosted a stimulating panel with participants mainly women with Distinctions (such as European Research grant & fellowship and UNESCO award recipients) and women in senior technical positions. The panellists noted that there is no magic recipe for winning a distinction but it counts to work hard and methodically, to be proactive, and to build a story showing that you are the best person for it. In positions of high responsibility, soft skills, e.g. good people management, are important for successful project management, as well as doing the best that one can, in any position.

GEC 2019 Panelists

  • Mema Roussopoulos, Associate Professor, Department of Informatics and Telecommunications, University of Athens
  • Vana Kalogeraki, Associate Professor, Department of Informatics, Athens University of Economics and Business
  • Androula G. Nassiopoulou, Head of the Nano4NPS research group at NCSR Demokritos, Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology
  • Geraldine Fitzpatrick, Professor, TU Wien
  • Effi Psychogiou, Oracle’s Tech Cloud Customer Success Senior Director for Eastern-Central Europe
  • Sofia Anagnostou, Digital Expert and People Manager at Unify, Atos Greece 


In summary, GEC 2019 was a successful and vibrant event, which we hope had positive impact in a number of ways. To name a few, GEC 2019 aspires to contribute in bringing together and motivating young people of all genders and in setting the Greek ACM-W Chapter’s goals and forming the working groups needed to take further action towards the main objectives. Our Chapter’s main objectives are to promote gender-equal access to the computer-related scientific frontiers, encourage/educate women and men in an equal way to achieve their goals and utilize their potential in digital professions, and celebrate and disseminate the achievements of all computer professionals in a fair and gender-equal way.


The entire event has been recorded and is made available on the Greek ACM-W Chapter’s YouTube channel: and the photos on


GEC 2019 would like to thank its supporters and sponsors, all who contributed to make this event so successful, and of course its attendees for their participation and enthusiasm!