This past Thursday April 23rd the first <div> Day was held in the Gates Dell Complex. <div> Day was designed to be a discussion about diversity and inclusion in the technology field and is intended to raise awareness, build community, and empower participants. The students that put the event on had a bigger goal, of informing the UTCS student body of how diversity can benefit the technology field.
The event was put on by the student run organization Minority Alliance in Computer Science or MACS. The goal of the group is to provide a community for anyone who feels underrepresented in computer science. <div> day served as a way for the group to finally get the word out about the cause and raise awarness on the need for diversity for women and different ethnic groups.
UTCS graduate student and MACS member Juan Sequeda introduced the event and the guest keynote speaker Goldman Sachs Vice President Tamara Way. Sequeda said that having events and groups like MACS on campus is important in making progress.
"We hope today we will start a community that we can create and foster in our department and across other departments, " Sequeda said. "We need to get out of our bubble and start thinking about how we can relate to everyone else. When we do that those are the people that are going to drive the future of technology and the country."
The day included a variety of talks led by student leaders across campus and Goldman Sachs employees. All of the topics addressed different issues surrounding diversity in computer science and campus-wide. Some of the talks included the impostor syndrome and how to recognize it, how to navigate a technical work environment, a conversation about achieving diversity in technology, and many more.
Head of UTCS, Bruce Porter said that as a computer science community that constantly works toward growth and improvements in technology, that diversity is crucial in continuing growth.
"I want everyone to have the experience to enjoy the feeling of computer science, " Porter said. "We have a moral obligation to open up the is field to everyone that has a talent for it. There are barriers, many of which are entrenched, meaning that they’re cultural and can seem hard to change. It’s important that you be a part of breaking down these barriers. You’re the next generation of computer scientists."