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Diversity of the Program Committee for CHI 2020

By Pernille Bjørn and Shengdong Zhao, CHI2020 papers chairs  

Diversity in the program committee for CHI is important to ensure balanced perspectives and inclusiveness in creating a top tier program displaying excellent research from across the whole CHI community. Setting up the program committee, the Papers chairs for CHI2020 have in particular focused on balancing junior/senior researchers from across the regions of the world and considering gender diversity. We set up a venue for people to volunteer as AC to recruit more junior researchers, but also paid attention to the regional and gender distribution. Below are the numbers and statistics. While we are happy with the line up, there is still more work to be done – please let us know if you have ideas, which can help future CHI conferences to become even more diverse.

14.73% of the ACs are recruited from the Volunteer Pool

Out of the total number of 455 ACs recruited for CHI 2020, 67 or 14.73% were recruited from the volunteer pool. Given that 140 people volunteered to serve as an AC, this indicates that 48% of the volunteers were picked up for this role. In other words, if you volunteered to be an AC for CHI 2020 you had around 50% chance of being selected.

Geographical Diversity

As a flagship conference, it is important that the CHI conference includes researchers with high excellence from all over the world. Reflecting on the recruited program committee for CHI2020, there is still work to be done. Recruited ACs for CHI2020 are mostly from North America and Europe, comprising 85% of the current pool. If we look closer at the subcommittees, the Understanding People subcommittee has the most representation with ACs from 6 out of the 7 regions (ACM definition of regions). Ten subcommittees have the majority of their ACs come from North America, while the Design, Games and Play, and Usability and User Experience subcommittees have most of their ACs from Europe. ACs from the Middle East region have representation in the Engineering Interactive Systems and Technologies, and Privacy and Security subcommittees, while the Latin American region has ACs in the Understanding People and Usability and User Experience subcommittees. Fewer than these, ACs from African institutions are only recruited in the Understanding People subcommittee. Do you have ideas for how to create more geographical diversity for CHI?

Gender Diversity

Gender is on the agenda for CHI and the Subcommittee Chair roster has a balanced men-women ratio (50%-50%), while the recruited AC pool has 60% men compared to 39% women, with few non-binary/not disclosed gender. Looking closer at each of the subcommittees, the User Experience, and Usability, and Interaction Techniques, Devices, and Modalities subcommittees are have significantly more ACs which are men. On the other hand, the Specific Application Areas and the Learning, Education and Families subcommittees have slightly more AC women. Do you have ideas for how to create a more gender diversity for CHI across all sub committees – also beyond binary gender categories?

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