Opportunities and Challenges: Diversifying Your Workforce

Presenter: Toni Collis, Co-Founder of Women in HPC, Applications Consultant in HPC Research & Industry,, EPCC, University of Edinburgh

Date: October 18, 2017

Slides: https://uofi.box.com/s/quk5wenhw3wbyjex3pzurspq3c2aswu1

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1q55LYfV48


The under-representation of women and minorities is a challenge that the entire supercomputing industry faces. As a community we are only just beginning to measure and understand how ‘leaky’ our pipeline is, but attrition rates are likely as high as the general tech community: 41% of women working in tech eventually leave the field (compared to just 17% of men).

This session will discuss the work being carried out by Women in HPC to diversify HPC. I will discuss the challenges we face and suggestions for making useful changes to improve inclusion in the workplace, benefitting everyone including those that are currently under-represented.

Target Audience: Anyone interested in the challenges and opportunities for diversifying the HPC workforce are welcome to participate.  We welcome everyone to attend to share their experiences to enrich the discussion.

Prerequisites: None.


Toni Collis is an Applications Consultant in HPC Research and Industry, providing consultancy and project management on a range of academic and commercial projects at EPCC, the University of Edinburgh Supercomputing Centre.

Toni has a wide-ranging interest in the use of HPC to improve the productivity of scientific research, in particular developing new HPC tools, improving the scalability of software and introducing new programming models to existing software. Toni is also a consultant for the Software Sustainability Institute and a member of the ARCHER team, providing ARCHER users with support and resources for using the UK national supercomputing service as effectively as possible. In 2013 Toni co-founded Women in HPC (WHPC) as part of her work with ARCHER. WHPC has now become an internationally recognized initiative, addressing the under-representation of women working in high performance computing.

Toni is Inclusivity Chair and a member of the Executive committee for the SC17 conference. Toni is also a member of the XSEDE Advisory Board and has contributed to the organization and program of a number of conferences and workshops over the last five years.