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Systers, founded by Anita Borg, is an international electronic mailing list for technical women in computing.[1] The Syster community strives to increase the number of women in computer science and improve work environments for women.[2] The mailing list has operated since 1987, making it the oldest of its kind for women in computer science.[3] It is likely the largest email community of women in computing.[2] The name 'Systers' originated from the combination of the words systems and sisters.

As of 2012, more than 3000 members were subscribing to the Systers' mailing list. Previously, the mailing list was maintained by Her Systers' Keeper, Robin Jeffries, from 2000 to 2012.[2] In October 2012, Jeffries passed on the baton of Systers' Keeper to Rosario Robinson. During #GHC18 at Houston Texas, it was announced that Zaza Soriano will be the new Systers' Keeper.

Topics generally relate to women in computing.[4] A notable exception was a 1992 discussion of a Barbie doll, whose recorded phrases included "Math class is tough!". Systers was credited as influential in persuading Mattel to remove the phrase.[5]

The Systers list runs on GNU Mailman. Systers members and Google Summer of Code participants customized the code to meet Systers' needs.[6]

Systers list members also sponsor the Systers' Pass-it-on grant, which awards money to established women in technology fields who help support upcoming women in technology.[7]


Founding membersEdit

Systers BlogEdit

The Systers blog on the Anita Borg website summarizes especially interesting topics from the email list. Topics are varied, including gender stereotyping, creative ways to deal with prejudice, rants, and fun facts.

Systers 25th AnniversaryEdit

In 2012, Systers celebrated its 25th anniversary with Global Meet Ups[10][11] and a celebration at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing.[12]

Anita Borg Systers Pass-It-On Awards ProgramEdit

The Pass-It-On Awards program provides monetary support for women entering fields in technology through donations by women established in technological fields.[13] The award honor's Anita Borg's vision of a network of women that support each other. Awards from $500.00 to $1000.00 USD are funded by online donations from the Systers community.


  1. ^ Kadaba, Linda (26 June 1995). "'Systers' carve out Internet niche". Austin American-Statesman. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  2. ^ a b c "Systers - Anita Borg Institute". Anita Borg Institute. Retrieved 2017-02-16.
  3. ^ "Recoding Gender". Recoding Gender. Retrieved 2017-02-16.
  4. ^ "Top Companies for Women Technologists - FAQ - Anita Borg Institute". Anita Borg Institute. Retrieved 2017-02-16.
  5. ^ Hafner, Katie (2003-04-10). "Anita Borg, 54, Trailblazer For Women in Computer Field". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-02-16.
  6. ^ terriko (2012-03-26). "GF Classifieds: Google Summer of Code 2012 edition". Geek Feminism Blog. Retrieved 2017-02-16.
  7. ^ "College of Computing". Retrieved 2017-02-16.
  8. ^ anitasquilt (2012-09-06). "25 Years of Systers". Anita's Quilt - Threads of Inspiration. Retrieved 2017-02-16.
  9. ^ "Founding Systers - Anita Borg Institute". Anita Borg Institute. Retrieved 2017-02-16.
  10. ^ Systers 25th anniversary
  11. ^ Anita Borg: Systers Meetups
  12. ^ Anita Borg: RockIT Science and Systers 25th Anniversary Celebration
  13. ^ Anita Borg: Pass-It-On Awards

External linksEdit