On Wednesday, July 25, 2018, NCWIT Communications Director Adriane Bradberry accepted an invitation from U.S. Representative Jared Polis to present the importance of the NCWIT mission and its organizational outcomes before the Committee on Education and the Workforce at an innovation forum. Below is a transcription of her three-minute oral testimony, as archived in this online video.
Did you know that “some early voice-recognition systems were calibrated to typical male voices, and as a result, women’s voices were literally unheard?”
It’s critical to ensure that today’s innovative process capitalizes on the benefits of diverse perspectives from various groups, as opposed to one homogenous one.
Diversity in computing is a business issue. Research shows that gender-balanced and gender-diverse tech organizations and departments:
- demonstrate superior team dynamics and productivity
- produce work teams that stay on schedule and under budget
- and, perform better financially, particularly when women occupy a significant proportion of top management positions
And, at a time when technology drives economic growth, diversity can yield a larger and more competitive workforce.
However, diversity in computing is lacking. Few women of all races, ethnicities, class, and disability status are pursuing tech education or careers.
The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) is a non-profit community that convenes, equips, and unites change-leading organizations to increase the meaningful participation of all women in computing.
We help them to mitigate societal and systemic barriers, and to improve their inclusion efforts. Before NCWIT was chartered in 2004 by the National Science Foundation, programs focusing on women and computing existed mostly in isolation. Without the benefits of shared practices, effective resources, or national reach.
To date, NCWIT’s community consists of more than 1,100 universities, companies, non-profits, and government organizations who carry out projects and initiatives in support of NCWIT’s mission.
One such initiative is the NCWIT Aspirations in Computing program, which provides ongoing engagement, visibility, and encouragement for the computing-related interests and achievements of more than 10,000 technical girls and women high school through college and into the workforce.
- AiC reaches all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and all U.S. military bases overseas.
- 240,000 instructional hours have been given to more than 8,000 girls in 40 states since 2013.
- From high school to post-secondary, 90 percent of AiC participants persist in STEM.
Through this initiative and others, NCWIT helps to build a national infrastructure that results in broad, sustainable impact.