The European Girls’ Olympiad in Informatics (EGOI) is an international competition for young women interested in Computer Science, lasting for one week. The Olympiad comprises two contest days where the participants solve challenging algorithmic problems. The program is rounded off with excursions. The students will have time to socialise with other girls interested in Computer Science and to explore the host country. Each participating country may send a delegation consisting of four female participants under the age of 20, accompanied by two coaches.
The program of EGOI is similar to well-established competitions such as IOI (International Olympiad in Informatics) or BOI (Baltic Olympiad in Informatics). Compared to these, the participation is only open for women.
In Sweden, far fewer women than men decide to study or work in Computer Sciences. This gender gap is even more pronounced in the Mathematical Olympiad and the Olympiad in Informatics (science competitions for young students). The percentage of women at the Swedish Olympiad in Informatics is below 10% (2018/2019). In other countries, we can see similar numbers. At the International Olympiad in Informatics 2018, the representatives of 88 countries discussed how one could tackle the gender gap. Different participating countries reported their experiences in their respective countries. The situation is comparable in most of them.
In 2012, the Mathematical Olympiad initiated EGMO (European Girls’ Mathematical Olympiad). The number of participating countries rose from 19, 2012, to more than 50 in 2019, indicating the success of EGMO. The European Girls’ Olympiad in Informatics was initiated in 2021 as a corresponding olympiad in computer science. Switzerland hosted the first edition in 2021, Turkey hosts the second edition in 2022, and in 2023 Sweden has the great honor of hosting the contest.
The goal of EGOI is to provide a platform for young women to enjoy and deepen their interest in Computer Science. We focus on the following aspects:
Encouragement to participate
The stereotype of Computer Science being something only for men persists. Many young women do not even consider participation, even though they have talent and enjoy it. This is where our competition comes in: girls who may not have the courage to participate at an Olympiad in Informatics feel included and directly addressed, allowing them to find the self-confidence to participate.
By raising awareness among teachers, they can explicitly encourage young women to participate.
Create female role models
The participants get to know other female Computer Scientists and can find female role models for themselves. This is important, as most attachment figures are male (e.g. teachers, professors, Computer Science stars).
Strengthen self-confidence and acceptance
One goal is for women in Computer Science to utilise their full potential. To achieve this, one needs a sense of achievement, self-confidence, and acceptance. We hope to promote these aspects with the competition. We want to highlight the outstanding achievements that young women are capable of.
Aside from the benefits for the participants, EGOI is an opportunity to increase public awareness about women in Computer Sciences. Ideally, this is achieved with a campaign in cooperation with representatives from the industry. As one of the first hosts of the contest, Sweden has the opportunity to show itself as a pioneer in gender equality and promote itself as a leader in industry, education, and innovation.
|2022||Turkey, Antalya||October 16 – 23, 2022||ubilo.tubitak.gov.tr/egoi2022|
|2021||Switzerland (online)||June 13 – 19, 2021||egoi.ch|