Membership Report June 2009

I have prepared this report because our official Membership Secretary, John Pelan, has been very busy lately moving house and also has been preparing a presentation which he is due to give us this afternoon.

During July 2008 all the non-BCS members of the Group were dropped from the list, as I predicted in my report to last year's AGM, so that the number of Group members fell from 275 at the beginning July to 167 at the beginning of August. I am pleased to say that there has been a steady increase in the number of members since than to a total of 180 at the beginning of June 2009.

The tables which accompany this report are based on those which I produced for last year's AGM with additions of data for 2008-09.

Table 1 shows that in the last session the number of Students, Members (MBCS) and Fellows have all increased while there has been a small decrease in the number of Chartered Members and Chartered Engineers. We have suffered a large drop in the proportion of female members, from 12.5% to 6.1% in the session.

Table 2 shows that over 90% of our members have email addresses and just under 90% are on the Group's List Server so we should be able to keep in good contact with them. With the removal of the non-BCS members the age distribution of our members has moved even further towards the older age groups, the average age having increased by 8 years over the last five sessions. As I said last year this is no doubt largely due to the fact that Fortran is not taught to young people any more. The fluctuations in the mode figures are due to the similar numbers of members in the age categories from the early 40s to the late 60s. The discrepancy between the total number of members aged 18 to 89 and the total number of Group members is due to not all members having their date of birth listed in the membership files.

Table 3 confirms what the data for June 2008 showed, that we would lose around two thirds of our non-UK members when the non-BCS members were removed. Maybe our number of overseas members will increase with the Society's increasing international focus.

Table 4 is a new table for this year's report giving a summary of the changes in the Group membership over the last two and a half years. The figures for the last session show an increased number of BCS members who have joined the Group compared with the previous session, which is encouraging.

Table 5 is another new table, produced as a result of a question asked at last year's AGM, which was "how many members of the Group are only members of one Specialist Group". The answer for June 2009 is 102. The reason that there are only 178 members list in Table 5 rather than the 180 listed in Tables 1 to 3 is that I took out the two BCS staff members whose SG memberships are dictated by administrative needs rather than personal interest. The table is also useful in showing the wide range of other interests of our Group members.

I must take this opportunity on behalf of John Pelan and myself to thank all the staff at BCS HQ who have been involved in providing the membership data for the Group over the last year, especially Mandy Bauer. They have cheerfully answered all our persistent questions.

Peter Crouch
Assistant Membership Secretary
10th June 2009

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