The Committee on Women in Statistics (CWS) is a committee of the International Statistical Institute. The committee is currently chaired by Dr. Penelope (Penny) L. Bidgood, p.bidgood@btinternet.com.  Dr. Bidgood is a Principal lecturer in Statistics at Kingston University in London.

The committee was formally established in name during the ISI Beijing Session in August 1995, but held its first meetings during the ISI Session in Istanbul, Turkey in August 1997. The initial motivation for the committee was the concern among the ISI leadership over low female representation in the ISI and its Sections.

The committee’s Terms of Reference reflect this concern and deal with a number of factors closely related to this issue. The objectives of the Committee are to:

The committee has ten members.  Dr. Bidgood became chair of the Committee in 2012. Martha Farrar is the webmaster. Other Committee members serve to facilitate the above functions but also serve as representatives of women in various regions of the world.

The Committee has two venues in which it operates – the biennial conference of the ISI, and a website for exchange of information (http://www.nass.usda.gov/cws/). At the biennial conference, the committee organizes sessions, holds meetings of country representatives, and supports other activities for women statisticians.

The website is a repository of information about the committee. It provides short reports, papers, and summaries of activities in various countries. The exchange of information is facilitated by a network of country representatives – mid-career level statisticians who have a strong network of contacts. The country representatives have a three-fold role:

We continue to seek country representatives to strengthen our network. Some countries have more than one representative, particularly if they represent different sectors of statistical work. If you are interested in the work of the Committee and want to be involved contact your regional representative or Dr. Penny Bidgood at p.bidgood@btinternet.com.