News on the Radar: 10/25/2017

Here is a brief round-up of information and news that crossed NCWIT’s radar recently and which we think will be of interest to you. The practices or content of the news gathered (while not endorsed or vetted by NCWIT) is meant to spark new conversations and ideas surrounding the current diversity statistics and trends in the tech workforce. We encourage you to add your two cents on this month’s topics in the comments below.
How NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Is Changing Women’s Lives
A recent Forbes article featured the story of Rian Walker, who won the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing (AiC) in 2012, and highlighted the positive impact that AiC has had on young women who are interested in engineering and other STEM fields.
Rian developed a passion for technology at a young age, teaching herself multiple programming languages even though none of her friends shared that passion and her community lacked resources such as computer camps or classes. Winning the Award for AiC was a life-changing experience for her: “All of a sudden I was part of this community where there were thousands of girls who were into computer science and programming, who knew what I was talking, about and who I could relate to,” she said.
Rian went on to receive a grant from NCWIT AspireIT to launch Bulldog Bytes, a summer camp for Mississippi kids to learn computer science and cyber security. This Spring, she will graduate from Mississippi State with a degree in software engineering and then work as a technical analyst with Bank of America/Merrill Lynch.
Rian credits the NCWIT network for getting her to where she is today, and her dream is for other girls to have the same opportunity she’s had to pursue their love of technology. For more than 10 years, the AiC community has encouraged women’s pursuits in technology — connecting them with inspirational peers and mentors, acknowledging their technical contributions, further preparing them to reach educational and career goals, and so much more. By Spring 2018, we aim to support and offer exclusive benefits to more than 10,000 AiC community members!
You can help us reach this 10K milestone by spreading the word about AiC award opportunities for 9th-12th grade women and educators, as well as college women, to receive prizes and recognition for all that they do (or want to do) in computing. Applications close for high school women on November 6, 2017; additional deadlines vary. Spread the word:
Women in Tech Raise the Bar: They Don’t Need It Lowered Anyways.
‘Do tech companies have to lower the bar to hire diverse candidates?’
Short story: No. Longer story: This NCWIT blog presents a few reasons to stop asking that question, followed by a few alternatives to ask instead…

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