|NCWIT NEWSLETTER – Fall 2009|
The next NCWIT Practices Summit will be held May 18-20, 2010 at Intel’s offices outside Portland, Oregon. Confirmed speakers include:
Stay tuned for more details to come!
Efforts to increase women’s participation in computing have existed for decades, while women’s presence in classrooms, labs, and boardrooms has stagnated or declined. NCWIT Pacesetters is an aggressive new program that will finally “move the needle,” both within organizations and on a national scale, to diversify IT through the accelerated recruitment and retention of women. Twenty-three organizations from higher education and industry are inventing and implementing change models for use by themselves and others. Senior leaders within these organizations have committed to building teams, actively funding their reform programs, and personally attending regular meetings. These teams came together at the first Pacesetters Roundtable on November 9-10 at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. NCWIT is providing the infrastructure for Pacesetters teams to interact, report on their progress, and hold
At the Roundtable, members developed concepts for the Pacesetters “Net New Women” campaign. This campaign will provide an exciting focus for the program, offering a window into members’ strategies for recruiting, retaining and advancing women in technical leadership roles, and shining a public spotlight on their successes. Each Pacesetters organization will commit to adding a specific number of “new” women to the national technology talent pool through innovative programs in recruiting, curriculum reform, job training, and on-ramping of talent. Finally, after watching the percentage of women in IT decline since the mid-1980s, Pacesetters Net New Women gives us the opportunity to show that we are visibly “moving the national needle” on women’s participation.
The United States Department of Labor estimates that by 2016 there will be more than 1.5 million computer-related jobs available. Highly-qualified women are well-positioned to move into these open jobs, yet the industry is failing to attract this talent. Furthermore, women already employed in the technology industry are leaving at staggering rates. Failing to capitalize on this talent threatens U.S. productivity, innovation, and competitiveness.
Women in IT: The Facts brings together the latest findings from recent research on technical women to:
Women in IT: The Facts is sponsored by the NCWIT Workforce Alliance, whose input was crucial in determining how available data could be used to help companies take action and change their departments to attract, retain, and advance more women. The full, 48-page report and a dynamic-fold “teaser” card is being targeted for distribution to hiring managers, executives, and the broad spectrum of companies with integral IT departments.
Research has found that the supervisory relationship is one of the most significant factors in an employee’s decision to leave or stay with an organization. To help prepare supervisors for this responsibility, NCWIT has created its first Program-in-a-Box “box set”: Supervising-in-a-Box.
Supervising-in-a-Box is designed to create highly productive teams that reduce employee turnover, capitalize on diverse innovative thinking, and ultimately strengthen their bottom lines. The Supervising box set provides resources for addressing unconscious bias and institutional barriers that affect five different supervisory job functions. Each box in the set focuses on a single job function:
The first two of these five boxes were launched at the 2009 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, and the rest will follow in the months to come. This box set is particularly targeted to corporations and fills an important niche for resources that help companies retain and advance women in IT.
NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing
The NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing, sponsored by Bank of America, recognizes young women at the high-school level for their computing-related achievements and interests. The Award was designed to enrich the IT talent pool by encouraging young women’s computing pursuits, providing social networking cohorts for applicants and award-winners, and connecting award-winners with universities and employers. Since the Award’s inception in 2007, NCWIT has honored 81 winners from 14 different states in five cycles. This fall, with support from the Motorola Foundation and Google, NCWIT is offering both the national award and three pilot “local affiliate” competitions in the states of Texas, Illinois, and Florida. With this “franchise” model we hope to scale the Award so that we are recognizing more than 1,500 students annually by 2012, with continued growth to follow.
On February 18, 2010, NCWIT will partner with the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) to host a U.S. House of Representatives Diversity and Innovation Caucus session on K-12 computing education. This U.S. House Caucus already is focused on diversity and innovation in STEM, but our goal with this session will be to bring their attention to the technology part, or “T”, of STEM. We are planning an action-oriented session that makes the case for teaching computer science in K-12 public education; talks about the importance of innovation and diversity of thought in computing; and provides real data sets and resources that U.S. House members and staff can use in their districts to spread the message about the critical need to teach computing in K-12 schools. Currently we are compiling data from College Board on computer science advanced placement (AP) exam-takers and intended CS majors, sorted by congressional district; and we plan to match these data against other data sets, such as the available computing jobs in each district. We also created a new Talking Points card, Moving Beyond Computer Literacy: Why Schools Should Teach Computer Science, and are developing other resources for House members and the general public to use in talking about the importance of computing and defining computing as an educational discipline.
Are you a computing educator or industry professional who wants to recruit and retain women and underrepresented minorities in your organization? Do you have questions about what’s the right way to do it? Would you like to discuss your plans and programs one-on-one with an expert social scientist?
NCWIT manages a FREE service for members of its Alliances that supports two hours (and a few more if needed) of telephone consultation with a member of the NCWIT Social Science Advisory Board (or another member of the NCWIT community with relevant knowledge, if an SSAB member is not available). The service is funded by the National Science Foundation. NCWIT Alliance Members need only complete this survey to request the service.
Consultation is available on a variety of topics, and the NCWIT SSAB is made up of social scientists with a wide range of expertise. Examples of consultation topics include:
Who doesn’t love free, expert advice? If you’re interested in taking advantage of this service, but have questions before you complete the survey, please contact Stephanie Hamilton at email@example.com.
The NCWIT Symons Innovator Award honors an outstanding woman who has successfully grown and funded an IT business. The Award is named in memory of Jeanette Symons, founder of Industrious Kid, Zhone Technologies, and Ascend Communications. The 2009 winner of the NCWIT Symons Innovator Award is Anousheh Ansari -– Chair, CEO, and Co-founder of Prodea Systems, former Co-founder and CEO of Telecom Technologies, Inc., and the first woman private explorer in space.
We will announce and honor the winner of the 2010 Symons Innovator Award at NCWIT’s annual summit, May 18-20, in Portland, Oregon, in conjunction with the Oregon Software Association. Sponsorship of the NCWIT Symons Innovator Award is a distinctive way of showing support for technical innovation, technical entrepreneurship, and a rich, diverse, talent pipeline. By spotlighting women who start IT companies, this award offers sponsoring organizations a one-of-a-kind opportunity to receive national recognition and publicity for supporting innovation. If you or your company is interested in participating as a sponsor of the Symons Innovator Award, please contact Ruthe Farmer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ISTE NECC 2009: Gotta Have IT
In conjunction with ISTE we also hosted a free Gotta Have IT webinar in October, intended to raise awareness about girls and computing and to advise Gotta Have IT kit recipients about how to make the best use of the kit. NCWIT collected the contact information for all kit recipients and plans to use these data in extensive follow-up evaluations, so that we can learn more about how computing educators use the resources, which ones are most effective, and what resources might be lacking.
NCWIT’s Alliances bring to bear the experience of nearly 200 organizations nationwide. Together they comprise the community of practitioners who identify, contribute, and pilot promising practices, and who undertake institutional change. The NCWIT Social Science Advisory Board provides these Alliances with a firm footing of research and advisory expertise. By sharing resources and leveraging successes, this national community of practitioners helps NCWIT to create an amplified voice for women in IT.
Our alliances continue to grow as they develop programs and strategies for increasing women’s participation in IT. The K-12 Alliance Strategic Planning Subcommittee is preparing for an upcoming conference call to discuss leveraging its member organizations to increase diversity. The Academic Alliance (AA) is forming a new organizational structure that will include an Executive Committee comprised of the AA Co-Chairs and AA Project Leaders. The Workforce Alliance will hear from guest speaker Dr. Caroline Simard, Vice President of Research and Executive Programs at the Anita Borg Institute, who will share insights from her latest research report, Retaining a Diverse Technical Pipeline, During and After a Recession. The Entrepreneurial Alliance members are taking par in Astia’s initiative – We Own It Summit, a one-day invitational summit exploring the motivations, metrics, money, and myths around women entrepreneurs in high-growth companies.
New alliance members include Botball, DePaul University, Illinois State University, Kean University, North Carolina State University, Salish Kootenai College, St. Louis University, University of South Carolina Upstate, University of Central Florida, University of Illinois Chicago, University of New Haven, Zynga, GalaxeSolutions, Girls in Tech, The Next Women, Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship, Women Entrepreneurs in Science and Technology, Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center, and Women 2.0.
Interested in joining an NCWIT Alliance? Please email us at email@example.com.
NCWIT members have represented us at a broad range of conferences and events in 2009, including:
Have ideas for upcoming conferences where you think we should be? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.