What Girls in Robotics achieved in 2021 and what’s coming subsequent in 2022


It’s been a tough 12 months for ladies everywhere in the world, and I’d wish to thank everybody who has contributed to Girls in Robotics in 2021, whether or not you’ve merely shared details about your self in our group #intros channel, or organized a web based occasion, or made your self accessible as an advisor in our pilot mentoring program. Maybe you’ve been furthering our mission in an ‘unofficial’ manner just by supporting different girls, and non-binary folks, who’re working in robotics, or who’re considering working in robotics. 

We acknowledge and recognize the group constructing work that girls do, which is so typically out of the highlight, and on prime of all the things else. Girls’s work has hardly ever been given financial worth as one among my heroes Marilyn Waring wrote in “Counting for Nothing”. She based feminist economics, now known as triple backside line accounting, and altered the way in which that the World Financial institution and different international organizations consider economies. 

The pandemic has compelled girls out of the workforce at twice the speed of males, leaving girls’s participation within the workforce decrease than it’s been for 30 years. And the stress reveals no signal of stopping. Nonetheless, I consider that each time girls are compelled to step backwards, we transfer ahead once more with renewed willpower and focus. And so my inspiration is renewed to additional the mission of Girls in Robotics, to assist girls and non-binary individuals who work in robotics, and people who wish to work in robotics. We could all discover it laborious to seek out time, however small actions in the precise time and place can transfer mountains. 

In 2021, our annual showcase featured not 25 or 30 however ‘50 girls in robotics that you must learn about’ from 21 totally different international locations, from business, startups and academia, with specific point out of the ladies featured who’ve fought for the rights of refugees and persecuted girls, particularly the Afghanistan Girls’s Robotics Staff. For different girls, this recognition has helped to lift their profile inside universities or corporations, resulting in elevated alternatives.

Our annual listing additionally implies that there’s no excuse for not together with girls in conferences, articles, coverage making, job searches and many others. In 2022, I’d like to see us create wikipedia pages for extra girls in robotics, and create a speaker database, and a quotation listing, just like what Black in Robotics has performed, and the work of 500 Girls Scientists

The work of ladies in science remains to be much less prone to be cited than that of males. Current UNESCO analysis has discovered that quotation bias is the beginning of profession lengthy lack of recognition for ladies, beginning with girls citing themselves much less typically than males do. In 2022, let’s concentrate on bettering quotation charges, growing the variety of girls in panels, journals and conferences, or holding organizers accountable. We will goal growing the variety of girls cited in robotics curricula, studying lists and coursework. As a corporation we will attain out to universities, labs, conferences and journals in a manner that particular person girls can’t.

One other grassroots marketing campaign that we began was the Girls in Robotics Photograph Problem, which has already resulted in some nice new pictures of ladies constructing robots becoming a member of the picture search outcomes. Since then we’ve realized that unusual google or wikipedia search steer you to Sophia or intercourse robots, slightly than referencing actual girls constructing robots. It’s additionally time to retire the phrase ‘unmanned’. Girls in Robotics is planning to request that any college nonetheless referencing ‘Unmanned’ Autos ought to substitute with driverless, uncrewed or a greater time period.

The dearth of in particular person conferences is severely impacting the advantages of in particular person networking at a senior degree for ladies in robotics, and so we’d wish to lastly launch our Advisory Board by a web based networking occasion(s) for senior girls in robotics, each in academia and business..

We piloted our first mentoring program over 12 weeks with 16 girls and it was a really profitable expertise for nearly each participant. We all know that there’s a lot of demand to run this system once more however we’ll want extra volunteers to assist manage the occasions and match mentors/mentees. That is one space wherein sponsorship for Girls in Robotics may very well be helpful, however sponsorship comes with a big administrative value, so we are going to solely search sustainable main sponsorships in 2022.

My gratitude goes to CITRIS & the Banatao Institute, by the Individuals and Robots Lab, for offering me with some funding for the final two years that has allowed me to spend a few of my time on Girls in Robotics, Black in Robotics and the Society, Robots and Us Seminars. 

My name to motion is so that you can make your volunteer labor impactful by investing your time in a name to motion with an enormous end result. I hope it’s one among our Girls in Robotics actions, however in all the things you do you signify girls in robotics and allies. Greatest needs to you all for 2022. And thank you to the 2021 Girls in Robotics Board of Administrators! Our full Annual Report is right here.

  1. Counting for Nothing (initially If Girls Counted) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/If_Women_Counted by Marilyn Waring https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marilyn_Waring
  2. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/nov/19/great-resignation-mothers-forced-to-leave-jobs
  3. https://www.techrepublic.com/article/women-and-middle-managers-will-lead-the-great-resignation-into-2022/
  4. https://en.unesco.org/information/unesco-research-shows-women-career-scientists-still-face-gender-bias

Reflections from the Girls in Robotics Board of Administrators:

We’re very grateful for the work of our Board Members over the past 12 months and we thank Kerri Fetzer-Borelli, Hallie Siegel and Ariel Anders for his or her imaginative and prescient and expertise on the 2020 and 2021 Board. We’re delighted to have them be part of our Advisory Board in 2022.


Allison Thackston:

Girls in Robotics group and assist in 2021 was totally different from earlier years after we relied loads on native chapters, meetups, and networking.  With many places of work locked down and folks extra hesitant to do occasions in particular person, we’ve struggled a bit.  On the intense aspect, we’ve been citing our on-line presence, bettering our web site, and growing our social media outreach.  Within the 12 months forward, I hope we proceed this development.

Cynthia Yeung:

Launching the Undertaking Advance mentorship program was a spotlight of my service on the WiR board in 2021. Now we have acquired a lot of nice suggestions from the inaugural cohort which we will use to enhance the programming for the second cohort in 2022. One of many key success metrics was the share of returning mentors (demand is limitless in two-sided marketplaces; provide is the constraint) and we’re happy to report that every one mentors are considering returning for the second cohort. It’s personally gratifying to be ready to implement the sort of program that I wished to have entry to earlier in my profession. On a macro degree, I consider that robust focus and measurable progress on a small variety of initiatives will bode effectively for WiR’s influence roadmap.

Lisa Winter:

2021 was a 12 months of self-reflection and a take a look at of endurance. I feel 2022 would be the 12 months when loads of us take greater dangers as we attempt to determine a greater work/life stability. I wish to see extra communication on the WiR Slack, particularly giving job recommendation and engineering recommendation. What I get pleasure from about different websites that I feel we might incorporate is extra sharing of private initiatives; connecting over them and in addition studying.

Laura Stelzner:

WiR offers group and  assist in a subject the place it may be lonely being one of many few girls at your organization/division.  As the sector of robotics grows we wish to present girls and non-binary folks all of the superb profession alternatives that exist, by offering them with mentorship,  networking, management and profession development alternatives.

Laurie Linz:

2021 was a quiet 12 months for Boulder/Denver, we didn’t maintain any native (in particular person)  conferences. I do have excellent news and that’s I’m in course of with organising some in particular person occasions once more. We’ll strategy with warning given the covid state of affairs, however blissful to be beginning once more. 

WiR helps girls degree up or launch their profession in robotics. We welcome these not able to launch with networking and academic assist. Study, launch, degree up.

Sue Keay:

One of many issues that retains me awake at night time is questioning what vital challenges we’d have solved already and what applied sciences are lacking due to the dearth of variety in robotics. That’s why Girls in Robotics exists, to assist to assist the small variety of girls who’re contributing to creating robotic applied sciences and to encourage extra to hitch our ranks. The worldwide listing of ladies in robotics has been an vital strategy to sign the vital contributions that girls are making on this house and to lift the profile of robotics as a sound profession alternative for ladies. Becoming a member of WiR is acknowledging that we will be doing higher with variety in robotics and will present a lot wanted assist to a girl in robotics who could also be questioning their purpose for remaining in such a male-dominated subject. My very own expertise has been that girls have at all times been my biggest supporters and I really feel much less alone by being a part of WiR.

Sue Keay (Robotics Australia) with Erin McColl (Toyota Analysis Institute) with a Ghost Robotics platform.

Silicon Valley Robotics
the business affiliation supporting innovation and commercialization of robotics applied sciences.

Silicon Valley Robotics
the business affiliation supporting innovation and commercialization of robotics applied sciences.