3,371 Girls Engaged in Computing, #WWDC15, Intel Capital Diversity Fund

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This newsletter provides a monthly recap of the biggest headlines about women and computing, news about NCWIT, and links to resources to equip you as change leaders for increasing women’s participation in technology. Practices or content of the news presented are not vetted or endorsed by NCWIT.


NCWIT In The News

3,371 Girls Engaged in Computing and Technology through NCWIT AspireIT, a Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action

Apple and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) support NCWIT to expand the impact of the AspireIT program and provide computing access for low-income girls. To date, NCWIT AspireIT has launched 115 programs, providing 130,992 hours of computing outreach and instruction to 3,371 K-12 girls in 23 states. The AspireIT program aims to engage 10,000 middle school girls in learning computing concepts by 2018. Read the full press release.

#WWDC15

WWDCLogoCircleThumbThe Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) took place in San Francisco in mid-June, and NCWIT was among 20 STEM organizations chosen to receive scholarships for its members to attend free of charge! Read this Aspirations in Computing blog to learn about the young women chosen from NCWIT for this unique opportunity. Additionally, this feel-good BuzzFeed video captured the experiences of five other women student developers.

Prior to the conference, Apple CEO Tim Cook made a special appearance at an orientation session for the WWDC scholarship recipients, substantiating the importance of their participation. “I view these people that I talk to today as the future generations of the company, and they will either be a part of it directly or a part of the ecosystem… I think the most diverse group will produce the best product, I firmly believe that,” said Cook. Reaching out to K-20 women is just one way that Apple is working to improve gender equality in the industry.

Women & IT News

Intel Capital Diversity Fund

IntelLogoCircleThumbIntel Corporation launched the Intel Capital Diversity fund, which over the next five years will invest $125 million in businesses led by women and underrepresented minorities. Intel has already invested in increasing workforce diversity, which prompted Intel Capital Vice President Lisa Lambert to ask, “What if we took stakes in high-growth companies run by women and underrepresented minorities, whose biggest hurdle wasn’t the quality of their ideas, but the funding to make them scale?”

As cited in a Fast Company article, in venture capital (VC) firms with $100 million or more under management, less than 1% of the investors are minorities, and women comprise only 5.6% of the decision-makers. In the end, companies headed by male executives receive 98% of all VC investments. Intel believes investing in high-growth companies run by women is ‘the right thing to do.’ “The VC firms that are doing investments today come from a demographic group [in which] their networks look like them, and reflect their values,” said Lambert. “That model works for them, so they keep repeating it. The problem is that the model doesn’t incorporate the broader society.”

What Is Code?

This issue of Bloomberg Businessweek “comprises a single story devoted to ­demystifying code and the culture of the people who make it. There’s some technical language along with a few pretty basic mathematical concepts. There are also lots of solid jokes and lasting insights. It may take a few hours to read, but that’s a small price to pay for adding decades to your career.”

Can an Algorithm Hire Better Than a Human?

This article in The New York Times takes a look at several new startups designed to automate hiring for (potentially) a more diverse workforce. While such software is interesting to consider as a possible aide for recruiting and hiring employees, it’s important to be mindful that even seemingly objective software tools can have subtle biases built into them. We all should continue to work on multiple avenues for identifying and mitigating unconscious bias and institutional barriers: http://bit.ly/1GPm85l.

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