About Us

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Bowdoin Women in Computer Science (BWICS) began the Fall 2014 semester with the mission statement:

Bowdoin Women in Computer Science (BWICS) provides a network of support for Bowdoin people who identify as women and trans* interested in Computer Science. We aim to reach out to people who identify as women and trans* curious about entering the field of study at Bowdoin and to encourage people who identify as women and trans* currently in the department to continue and to pursue jobs in technology. Our driving force is to augment the level of female representation in the field of technology by empowering these women with an extra boost of support. Our mission, rather than to separate ourselves from our male peers, is to strengthen the department at Bowdoin as a whole.

People who identify as women and trans* are underrepresented in the Computer Science department at Bowdoin as well as at other institutions and in the technology sphere as a whole. We aim to explore why this is true and to create an environment in the department that is welcoming to everyone with the end goal of bettering the department. This has involved creating a list of upperclassmen mentors that is circulated throughout the group, a list of female alums of the department, and having bi-weekly lunch meetings as a group. Other initiatives have included panels preceding class registration about the department’s offerings, technical interview workshops, and funding and planning for attending The Grace Hopper Celebration which occurs every fall.

Our biggest goal is the small things, where at our last lunch meeting everyone heard of the seniors with jobs. Or where for some women, seeking help from other women rather than men is more comfortable. Or where the mere presence of our group on campus might make the department seem more inviting to first year women registering for class. Learn more in our article in The Bowdoin Daily Sun.

If you have any questions, reach out to the co-founders Grace Handler (ghandler@bowdoin.edu) and Madeline Bustamante (mbustama@bowdoin.edu). Also, feel free to reach out to our faculty mentor, Professor Laura Toma (ltoma@bowdoin.edu).