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1st Workshop for Women and Underrepresented Minorities (WiNLP) at ACL 2017 - opening remarks

1st Workshop for Women and Underrepresented Minorities (WiNLP) at ACL 2017 - opening remarks

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1st Workshop for Women and Underrepresented Minorities (WiNLP) at ACL 2017 - opening remarks

  1. 1. ACL 2017 – Vancouver, Canada
  2. 2. WiNLP Coming to Life ACL 2016 – Bonnie Webber notices the underrepresentation of women @ ACL conferences EMNLP 2016 – 1st WiNLP planning meeting – goal, format, funding and organization ACL 2016 – Margaret Mitchell organizes the WUGiNLP Lunch, sponsored by Microsoft Research ACL 2017 – 1st WiNLP workshop with over 130 participants!
  3. 3. Our Mission • Help promote and support ideas and voices of women & other underrepresented groups in Natural Language Processing • Goals of WiNLP ▪ Increase awareness of the work of women & underrepresented groups ▪ Support women and underrepresented groups in continuing to pursue their research ▪ Build a community of early-stage researchers of underrepresented groups to support one another ▪ Motivate long-term resources for underrepresented groups within ACL
  4. 4. Our Mission - Deliverables • Significantly increase the percentage of women and underrepresented groups in the ACL community • Create a directory of women and underrepresented groups to increase awareness of who researchers are in NLP • The foundation for a long-term diversity and inclusion effort within ACL
  5. 5. Our Process - Worth Noting • One-on-one writing mentorship • Telepresence • Career mentoring here today • Recruiting & Sponsorship from top companies
  6. 6. Outreach/Initiatives at ACL • Rotating locations • Local conferences ▪ NAACL, EACL, AFNLP, Nodalida, etc. • Funding opportunities ▪ Don and Betty Walker International Student Fund • On-site childcare ▪ New at ACL 2017
  7. 7. ACL Report – Nomination Proc. • Goal - examine ACL’s nomination and selection procedures • Committee - Yejin Choi, MinYen Kan, Joakim Nivre (chair), and Marilyn Walker • Partial list of objectives ▪ ACL Fellows program ▪ Selection of general and program chairs for ACL conferences ▪ Lifetime achievement awards
  8. 8. Cumulative Count Presidents Report on ACL Nomination Procedures and ACL Fellows Male Female
  9. 9. ACL Executives Each Year Report on ACL Nomination Procedures and ACL Fellows Male Female
  10. 10. ACL Report – Recommendation • Nominating committee and LTA committee replaced by single committee with diverse representation that is partly independent of the executive committee • But what do the numbers tell us about the participants and authors at ACL events?
  11. 11. Diversity at the Main Event • ACL 1979 – 28 papers, 20% female first authors • ACL 2016 – 20% female first authors Male Female Charts courtesy of Margaret Mitchell & Hal Daumé III
  12. 12. Diversity at the Main Event Charts courtesy of Margaret Mitchell & Hal Daumé III
  13. 13. Continuing to Publish in ACL Charts courtesy of Margaret Mitchell & Hal Daumé III
  14. 14. What can be Done? • Following the example of successful initiatives ▪ Women in Data Science (WiDS) ▪ Women in Computer Vision (WiCV) ▪ Women in Machine Learning (WiML) • 2006 – 100 participants, 60 posters • 2016 – 570 participants, 231 posters • Largest group on directory – NLP!!! • Do these NLP researchers attend ACL? • What about other dimensions of diversity?
  15. 15. How WiNLP can Help • We are co-located with ACL, the biggest NLP conference ▪ Come see our poster session! ▪ Come listen to the talks! • Mentoring and advice incorporated in the reviewing process • Travel assistance for accepted authors ▪ 1st time to attend an international conference for 30% of the applicants ▪ 6% undergraduate students
  16. 16. Challenges and Barriers Challenges of being outnumbered • “In my workplace [ - an Israeli startup] I am the only female engineer (among ~20 male engineers) and I hope that within several years these statistics might change. If I can take a part of this change, I'll be very proud.” – Lotem Peled • “In computer science, it can be difficult being a women of color where diverse representation is lacking.” – Candace Ross
  17. 17. Challenges and Barriers Bias against underrepresented minorities in NLP • “Surprisingly, my education is problematic for many, some inferring that I kept switching degrees because I was not very good at any one thing or was confused. I’ve even got “her background is, well… broad” as a dismissing and the only remark in a formal presentation of my research in front of group of peers. I believe that the perception of my academic achievements has been negative because I am a woman, black or both. Rather than being a couple random examples of our careers as minorities, such incidents are (always surprisingly) frequent.” - Natalie Schluter
  18. 18. Challenges and Barriers Challenges of being a woman in NLP • “One of the strategies I have seen female computer scientists use to try and fit in is, intentionally or unintentionally, hiding preferences or characteristics thought of as a being stereotypically female to feel "included" in a male-centric community. For instance, following the stereotype of a hardworking male researcher, staying in the lab until late despite being tired and pretending not to be interested in anything apart from work. On a superficial level this works, but might lead to a feeling of losing one’s true self.” – Yuki Arase
  19. 19. Challenges and Barriers Challenges of not working in a big US lab • “Groups that are based in North America have more media exposure and access to policy makers. We have to make more of an effort to affect impact on the global stage. It can be done, however, through persistence.” – Pascale Fung • “One of the challenges I experience is the difficulty in establishing collaborations. Unfortunately, in Algeria, only a few people work on NLP. It serves as real barrier trying to find someone to share our ideas or simply communicate about a given problem.” – Imane Guellil
  20. 20. Challenges and Barriers Challenges of not working in a big US lab • “Lack of money for conducting research and connecting with the overseas research community are also limited for us [in Vietnam]. As a result, I just attended international conferences that were held in my country because the cost of travel to conferences, like ACL+WiNLP, is nearly my salary for one year as a lecturer.” – Ngo Thi Lan
  21. 21. Challenges and Barriers Bias against certain research areas • “One of the biggest challenges NLP professionals currently face, in my experience, is that algorithms and mathematical approaches, basically quantitative approaches, receive most of the credit in NLP research. I see this bias in favor of mathematical solutions as a type of barrier in the NLP community.” – Martha Palmer • “One big challenge I see in NLP is that there seems to be an almost exclusive focus on task performance, measuring the quality of the models using abstract metrics. Analysis studies are often undervalued and difficult to publish, although thorough, insightful analyses are valuable and difficult to carry out.” – Dong Nguyen
  22. 22. Challenges and Barriers General challenges of academia • “The biggest challenge in NLP (and academia in general) is how to maintain high-quality peer review and reward quality work beyond numbers of publications, especially when the field is exploding.” – Wei Xu
  23. 23. How WiNLP can Help • But, certain challenges apply not only to women and underrepresented minorities… ▪ True, yet even more important here • Does WiNLP address these challenges? ▪ Yes! Mentoring, funding, telepresence, co-location with main event
  24. 24. WiNLP Submission Process • 94 submitted abstracts ▪ Abstracts are not archived ▪ Enables submission of previously published work, work-in-progress ▪ Increase visibility in the conference • 75 accepted abstracts • 16 papers rejected • 4 abstracts withdrawn Thank you to our amazing reviewing committee!!!
  25. 25. Accepted Abstracts by Gender
  26. 26. Accepted Abstracts by Region
  27. 27. Accepted Abstracts by Topic
  28. 28. WiNLP Program • 3 invited talks • 8 contributed talks • Over 60 posters • 2 mentoring sessions ▪ WiNLP registered participants, sponsors, and mentors
  29. 29. Mentoring Sessions • Lunch round-table event ▪ Salon 3 – right next door ▪ Grab a plate and find a table – topic-based and sponsorship tables ▪ Move around • 1-on-1 mentoring ▪ Introduction emails were sent to mentors/mentees ▪ Matching based on research interest ▪ Meet here after the talks or during the day • Not a mentor yet? Volunteer for next year’s event!
  30. 30. WiNLP Organization Libby Barak Isabelle Augenstein Chloé Braud Margaret Mitchell He He
  31. 31. WiNLP Board Marine Carpuat Martha Palmer Hal Daumé III Lucia Specia Jason Eisner Aline Villavicencio Pascale Fung Hanna Wallach Kathleen McKeown Bonnie Webber
  32. 32. Sponsors ● Funding for food, travel, accommodation ● Telepresence
  33. 33. Platinum ● Travel funding for all Americans ● Marine Carpuat as PI ● Hal Daumé III providing additional writing, details Sponsors
  34. 34. Sponsors A Practical Guide to Gender Diversity for Computer Science Faculty Bronze Silver
  35. 35. What’s Next? •Will there be WiNLP 2018? Where will it be? • How can you be a part of WiNLP/ become a mentor? •What else is planned? Come to the concluding remark to hear all about it!

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1st Workshop for Women and Underrepresented Minorities (WiNLP) at ACL 2017 - opening remarks


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