In the News: How Computing Compares to Other Occupations, Racial Disparities in the Tech Industry, and More

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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


GH PhotoCSEdWeek 2017

In case you missed it, #CSEdWeek took place during the first week of this month, coinciding with the birthday of Admiral Grace Hopper, a pioneer in the field of computer science who was born on December 9, 1906.

Amongst various celebrations hosted by NCWIT nationwide, NCWIT pledged to continue its #CSforALL commitments. NCWIT C4C will partner with Infosys Foundation USA to train school counselors as part of an effort to host free CS training for more than 800 public school teachers in Summer 2018, and NCWIT AspireIT prepares to launch a pilot program with the American Library Association (ALA).

As 2018 approaches, keep the change-leading momentum going for encouraging and captivating students with nearly 200 NCWIT free resources that offer recommendations for educators, parents, industry professionals, and others. Check out a few of those that were highlighted in the 2017 CSEdWeek newsletter.


Recognizing Great Intro CS Teaching: The 2017 NCWIT Engagement Excellence Awards

The December 2017 edition of ACM Inroads Magazine features the 2017 Engagement Excellence Award winners.


Computer Science Education Week: Going Beyond Code

In more CSEdWeek news, Academic Alliance Affiliate Member Representative and Aspirations in Computing Volunteer Ben Shapiro talks about developing technology that enables middle-school students to quickly create networks, connect devices, invent apps and design wearable technology.


Silicon Valley’s Diversity Efforts Get Mired in Scandal

NCWIT Director of Research Catherine Ashcraft says, “One toxic person doesn’t have to represent the entire company, but how management deals with such things is vital.”


Own Your Company Culture

NCWIT President and CTO talks with Advancing Women in Technology (AWIT)’s Michelle Ragusa McBain about seeing diversity beyond race and gender, resources you can use to develop inclusiveness in your company, and how gender-balanced companies score sky high on productivity and employee performance.


C4C LogoCounselors Spread the Word

Counselors Jamila Nassar and Jill C. Newman share what they learned from #CSPdWeek earlier this year and how NCWIT Counselors for Computing (C4C) inspires their continued efforts to create awareness about computing opportunities with students.


News on the Radar


How Computing Compares to Other Occupations

A recent New York Times article highlighted that computing technology roles outweigh the traditional sciences when it comes to job opportunities and salary potential in STEM fields.

The article cites that earlier this year, ranked the median base salary of workers in their first five years of employment by undergraduate major, and computer science led the list at $70,000. Similarly encouraging statistics can be found in the NCWIT Scorecard: in 2013, bachelor’s degrees in computer science and computer engineering yielded two of the highest starting salaries (about $60,000) for new graduates.

Not only do computing careers pay well, but they are also in high demand. By 2024, 1.1 million computing-related job openings are expected. At the current rate, only 45% of these jobs could be filled by U.S. computing bachelor’s degree recipients (

When considering a career in computing, students often question pay, availability, and additional factors, like, “What are the work hours like?” Help students explore how computing compares to other occupations they may be considering with Computing: Get the Most Out of Your College Degree.


Racial Disparities Are Far Worse Than Gender Disparities in the Tech Industry

The number of technical occupations held by women are especially troubling when examining how the pattern varies by race. In 2016, women held 57 percent of all professional occupations, yet they held only 26 percent of all computing occupations. And, the numbers are even lower when considering women of color; for example, Asian, Black, and Hispanic women hold only five percent, three percent, and two percent of these jobs, respectively. (

As discussed in a recent CityLab article, a new report from the Ascend Foundation examines how executive positions in the tech industry vary by race, finding that racial disparities are a larger problem than gender disparities. Analyzing data from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for the San Francisco Bay Area, the Ascend report found that in 2015, the racial gap in tech leadership positions between white men and minority men was larger than the gender gap between white men and white women. Furthermore, white women were 91 percent more likely than Black women, 178 percent more likely than Hispanic women, and 246 percent more likely than Asian women to be executives in the tech industry.

The Ascend Foundation suggests that tech companies stop investing in vague, broadly defined “diversity” goals and start actively targeting minority women for recruitment and promotion. As written in this NCWIT blog post, without explicit and careful attention to intersectionality, diversity efforts often default to a focus on straight, middle or upper class, white women — thus marginalizing the concerns of women of color, LGBTQIA people, working class women, and women with disabilities (to name just a few). Whether intentional or unintentional, we cannot allow this to be the “default.” We must consider intersectionality in all that we do:


How School Counselors Can Help Promote Computer Science Studies

A recent Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) newsletter article offered several ideas for how to engage school counselors as outreach and awareness allies.

For example:

  • Computing teachers can promote a greater understanding of computational thinking by inviting counselors to classrooms for an introductory lesson or “unplugged” activity.
  • Teachers can also encourage enthusiastic students to drop by the counseling center and share what they have created with computing.
  • Additionally, teachers can provide input for course scheduling to avoid conflicts that could adversely impact diverse enrollment in CS courses.

As with the general public, counselors may not realize that all job sectors involve computing in some way. By helping them understand that having a background in computing can make their students highly employable, they can help expand student access to computing classes and open doors to future career opportunities in computing.

The article cites the following NCWIT resources for increasing diversity in computing classrooms:

Further, the article recommends leveraging NCWIT Counselors for Computing (C4C) to help support students as they explore computing education and careers.


NCWIT News and Opportunities


AiC Program LogoNCWIT Aspirations in Computing (AiC) Needs Volunteer Application Reviewers Like You

Do you want to be inspired by the next generation of technologists and their advocates? NCWIT is looking for volunteers to pitch in and help review a handful of thousands of award applications that we have received! Find out more information, and get started:

For the latest news about women and IT, links to new NCWIT resources and more, follow us on Facebook and Twitter


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