Why are there not more women working in high performance computing (HPC)? That is basically the central question this blog is all about and perhaps you have already asked yourself this question once or twice, just like we did. We are Ruth, Anna, Claire and Cristina and are some of the board members of JuWinHPC, responsible for this blog.

JuWinHPC Kick-off

The proportion of women working with HPC is much lower than in other scientific areas. We want to get a better understanding of this gender imbalance and make women in the field of HPC more visible. Although JuWinHPC has a focus on female perspectives, anyone interested in the topic of equal opportunities no matter their gender is welcome to join and share their experiences with us.

But what exactly is JuWinHPC? JuWinHPC stands for “Jülich Women in HPC” and is the first German Chapter of the powerful international initiative „Women in High Performance Computing (WHPC)“. The members of this network are working for more equality, diversity and inclusion in the HPC community. The initiative is active at conferences such as SC and ISC, offers workshops and mentoring programs, and aims to raise more awareness in the HPC community with the slogan „diversity creates a stronger community”.

But how does that lead to the foundation of JuWinHPC? Well, that is thanks to the initiative of Ruth. She attended a workshop organised by Women in HPC and was very inspired to see female scientists in high career positions. She was inspired, because her own working team at FZJ consisted exclusively of men at that time. The network she was able to build with the help of WHPC has helped her a lot and she wanted to pass this experience on to other women. Unfortunately, while WHPC is doing great work globally, there was no structure at our local level so far (there existed no WHPC Chapter in Germany at all!). Therefore she asked some colleagues and together we applied for the first WHPC chapter in Germany with the aim to further strengthen the cohesion and visibility of women in the FZJ. The initiative is happily supported by the directors of the Jülich Supercomputing Centre and the FZJ Board of Directors. And that is how JuWinHPC was born. Nearly a year ago on 28th July 2022 we had our kick-off meeting as the first of a series of regular informal meetings. Beside our bi-weekly board member meetings we organize member meetings approximately once a month. These meetings are sometimes casual get-together events to meet new colleagues and exchanges experiences and in other occasions we invite externals to discuss certain topics.

In this blog we want to share our activities and experiences related to our work in the HPC community with you. We will report on the successes or difficulties of different career strategies, but also on personal challenges such as balancing work and family. Maybe one or the other story has already happened to you in a similar form or you had to face similar problems or hurdles. We are pretty sure that we will speak from your soul from time to time. But maybe you have made completely different experiences. We are very curious to hear about your opinions, worries, difficulties or successes and want to encourage you to add comments. We aim to represent the voices of many women in HPC.

Ruth, Anna, Claire & Cristina
posting for JuWinHPC

About Cristina Manzano

Cristina Manzano is a telecommunications engineer working in JSC since 2009. She partipated developing the long term archive for the radio astronomy community LOFAR and continues working on said archive as well as in other distributed data and parallel file system projects. Mother-of-two, she doesn't find easy to juggle motherhood and work and hobbies and friendship and… she needs sometimes to remind herself to just breath.

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