The Women in IR sessions of the 44th ACM SIGIR Conference on Research and Development in Information Retrieval were held on July 13, 2021. As in the previous year, the sessions were held online as SIGIR 2021 was a virtual conference due to COVID-19. The sessions were spread out to make them accessible for attendees across all time zones, welcoming participants to attend either or both sessions. The number of participants across both sessions was ~70, from which ~52 attended in the first session. It was very disappointing that the second session did not receive many participants, causing a big delay in the start time of the session, despite its time zone suitable for the countries that many of the SIGIR'21 authors and papers were from.
WIR co-chair Nazli Goharian led the discussion on gender pay disparity, presented the results of the Women in IR survey, and opened the floor for constructive suggestions from the participants. (Please consider filling out this anonymous 2-minutes survey if you still have not). WIR co-chair Hannah Bast gave a presentation on hero culture: the tendency in science to overemphasize the contributions of individuals and to downplay the significance of collective achievement and chance. After the presentation, similarly, the floor was opened for discussion.
Each presentation was followed by a lively discussion, especially for the 1st session of the WIR, where the participants voiced their own experiences.