Vision and Mission
We foresee at least 3 missions for WiML-T which all aim at empowering women and members of under-represented groups. Depending on everyone’s background and current situation, empowering may be achieved in various different ways that we do not mean to hierarchize. That is why we aim to give visibility and legitimacy to under-represented groups in Learning Theory, create stronger bonds within the community and beyond, and provide support and advice.
Visibility and legitimacy. One of the main challenges faced by minorities is the lack of visibility and lack of perceived legitimacy. In a scientific environment, the resulting relative isolation may lead to a lack of audience, credibility, and hence a lower quality of the received feedback from their peers. We believe that WiML-T could help increase the visibility of the work of researchers from under-represented groups. This can be achieved by leveraging the allyship from the most visible members of WiML and other allies.
Building Bonds. The WiML-T community is yet to be built, although some links already exist thanks to the work of some of our members. Learning Theory is still a relatively small crowd in the vast machine learning world, which should make the task of binding under-represented groups together easier. We want WiML-T to create an inclusive and welcoming place for new joiners and other less-connected members. Networking events (lunch, afterwork drinks or dinner, etc.) create an informal and dedicated space to find allies, collaborators, and friends.
Support and advice. An important role of a community is to provide help, advice, and support. Under-represented groups may face issues that more privileged people would never have. Thus it is important that our community provides a safe space where those issues can be discussed. Sharing career and life experiences, advising, and mentoring are key missions of WiML-T.