BRAID: Building, Recruiting, and Inclusion for Diversity

The BRAID initiative (Building, Recruiting, And Inclusion for Diversity) , co-led by AnitaB.org and Harvey Mudd College, launched in September 2014 in partnership with 15 universities across the nation.

Since 2014, 15 CS departments (“BRAID Schools”) under the leadership of their department chairs have committed to implementing a combination of four commitments in efforts to increase the participation of students from underrepresented groups — racial/ethnic minorities and women — in their undergraduate CS programs.

BRAID Research

As a part of this initiative, a UCLA Research team — led by Dr. Linda Sax — is conducting a mixed-methods longitudinal study of departmental changes with respect to these commitments across the 15 annual BRAID Schools. The research team is collecting data from students, faculty, staff, department chairs, and administrators in order to answer a variety of research questions related to attracting and retaining women and underrepresented minority students in computing majors. See the latest research updates, as presented at the 2019 Grace Hopper Celebration.

2019 will usher in the fifth year of this study, supported in part by the National Science Foundation. The four BRAID commitments are strategies that BRAID Beacon Schools — institutions leading the way in gender diversity within their CS departments — had implemented prior to the start of this initiative. Each BRAID School receives an annual stipend to support the implementation of their commitments, funded by leading technology companies and AnitaB.org.

Commitments

BRAID Schools act to address a minimum of three of the following commitments:

  • Modify introductory CS courses to make them more appealing and less intimidating to underrepresented students.
  • Lead outreach programs for high school teachers and students to build a diverse pipeline of students.
  • Build confidence and community among underrepresented students.
  • Develop and/or promote joint majors in areas like CS and biology that are attractive to underrepresented students.

Read more on activities BRAID Schools are undertaking.

Learn more about the results of the BRAID initiative.

Participate in BRAID

BRAID Affiliates are institutions that participate in BRAID on a one-year rotation to learn from and with Beacons and BRAID Schools while implementing the BRAID Commitments on their campuses. BRAID Affiliates are not guaranteed funding through the initiative. As of 2019, however, BRAID Affiliates will be able to apply for small grants to support on-campus efforts that act on one or more of the four BRAID Commitments. Learn more about how to get involved.

BRAID Activities

We’re dedicated to creating a diverse workforce reflective of our society. We believe that effort starts by engaging university students of all backgrounds. The Building, Recruiting, and Inclusion for Diversity (BRAID) initiative aims to increase the number of women and members of underrepresented minority groups in computer science departments.

To address diversity and inclusion in CS, BRAID schools implement a number of programs that have proven useful for all academic institutions, regardless of BRAID affiliation. We invite all academic institutions to partake. Learn more about how to get involved.

Funders

BRAID is funded by Intel, Microsoft, and Qualcomm. The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) and the Center for Minorities and People with Disabilities in IT (CMD-IT) are nonprofit partners on the BRAID initiative.

BRAID Beacons

Beacon Schools are model institutions that have been successful at increasing the diversity of their undergraduate computing programs. The BRAID program was designed, in part, around the successes seen at our Beacon Schools which include: California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo, Harvey Mudd College, University of British Columbia, and University of Washington.

Beacon Schools Successfully Guide and Advise BRAID Schools

School Years Change in Representation Unit of Measurement
Cal Poly-SLO 2008-2016 8% to 27% (Computer Science)
9% to 29% (Software Engineering)
Women admitted to programs
Harvey Mudd College 2006-2016 12% to 47.5% Women majoring in computing
University of British Columbia 1997-2016 16% to 32% Women majoring in computing
University of Washington 2007-2015 19% to 33% Women majoring in computing

Sources: BRAID Beacon school chairs, publicly reported data, and report on Beacon school rate of change by Kaitlin Splett, UCLA.

15 BRAID Schools

Arizona State University Missouri University of Science and Technology New Jersey Institute of Technology
University of California, Irvine University of Illinois at Chicago University of Maryland, Baltimore County
University of Maryland, College Park University of Nebraska-Lincoln University of North Texas
University of Rochester University of South Carolina University of Texas at El Paso
University of Vermont University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Villanova University

BRAID Affiliates Program

Affiliates are institutions that have committed to increasing the diversity of their computing departments, but do not receive funding through the BRAID initiative. Affiliates participate in BRAID for one year, during which they learn best practices from our BRAID Schools. They also participate in the annual BRAID Summit in July which gathers together all the BRAID stakeholders for two and a half days of discussion, ideation, and inspiration.

Check out our current and past affiliate institutions.

  • 2020 BRAID Affiliate Schools

    Dalhousie University
    Northwestern University
    Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey (New Brunswick)
    Southern New Hampshire University
    The Australian National University
    University of North Carolina at Charlotte
    University of South Florida, Tampa
    York University

  • 2019 BRAID Affiliate Schools

    Boston University
    Colorado State University
    Kean University
    Temple University
    University of Melbourne

  • 2018 BRAID Affiliate Schools

    Brown University
    Lehigh University
    Michigan Technological University
    Tennessee Tech
    Tufts University
    University of Waterloo
    University of the Pacific

  • 2017 BRAID Affiliate Schools

    California State University, Long Beach
    Duke University
    McGill University
    San Francisco State University
    University of California, Los Angeles
    University of Florida
    University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
    University of St. Andrews

  • 2016 BRAID Affiliate Schools

    California State University, Monterey Bay
    Hartnell College
    Monmouth University
    New York University
    Sweet Briar College
    University of Michigan
    University of Alabama, Birmingham

  • 2015 BRAID Affiliate Schools

    Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
    Rice University
    Simon Fraser University