Beyond the Pipeline: Fostering Equity in Our Quantum Future
Kim de Laat, Assistant Professor of Organization and Human Behaviour at the Stratford School of Interaction Design and Business, University of Waterloo
The field of quantum computing has a unique opportunity to pre-empt many of the inequities that have riddled AI and computer science. But radical technologies require new, radical solutions. In this talk, I take issue with the leaky pipeline metaphor as a way of structuring policy interventions concerning inequality in STEM fields. I outline three reasons why overreliance on the leaky pipeline metaphor is problematic: (1) it does not accurately represent the phenomenon it is meant to describe; (2) it is incomplete; and (3) it does not capture the full heterogeneity of experiences with inequality in STEM disciplines. I conclude the talk by sharing feedback from the quantum technology community concerning potential pitfalls in the pursuit of equity in quantum, and what we can do about it.
About Kim de Laat
Kim de Laat is an Assistant Professor of Organization and Human Behaviour at the Stratford School of Interaction Design and Business, University of Waterloo. Along with her colleague Lechin Lu, she has engaged in consultations with the quantum technology community over the past several years on behalf of the National Research Council, to provide guidelines for making their quantum challenge programs more equitable.