In the News: Making CS More Inviting, the Tricky (and Necessary) Business of Being a Male Advocate


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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

2015 NCWIT Summit


The 2015 NCWIT Summit on Women and IT: practices and ideas to revolutionize computing took place on May 19-21, 2015 in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. This annual, one-of-a-kind event convened more than 600 change leaders from the NCWIT community of educators, entrepreneurs, corporate executives, and social scientists to drive the conversations that ignite change for women in technology.

Inspirational plenary speakers and notable guests included Amy P. Abernethy, MD PhD, Professor of Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine; Karen Ashcraft, Professor of Communication, University of Colorado Boulder; Benjamin Todd Jealous, Partner, Kapor Capital; Maggie Johnson, Director of Education and University Relations, Google; Peggy Johnson, Executive Vice President, Business Development, Microsoft; Rane Johnson-Stempson, Director, Microsoft Research; Amanda Neuf, Director, Technology Development, AT&T; Joan C. Williams, Center for WorkLife Law, Distinguished Professor of Law, UC Hastings Foundation Chair and Director; and Janice Zdankus, Vice President, Enterprise Group, Hewlett-Packard Company.

Special guest Actress and Activist Mayim Bialik, PhD joined us as we honored heroes and role models for women in computing, including the inaugural recipient of the SET Award for Portrayal of a Female in Technology, Actress Renée Smith.

View the full press release, and stayed tuned to, where we’ll upload videos, presentations, and more to our 2015 NCWIT Summit Archive.

The 2015 NCWIT Summit event is sponsored by NCWIT’s Strategic and Investment Partners. Additional support is provided by IT-oLogy and the Royal Bank of Canada.

Extension ServicesMaking Computer Science More Inviting: A Look at What Works

The New York Times featured several NCWIT Academic Alliance institutions’ remarkable efforts in increasing the number of girls and women in computer science, including University of Washington (UW). UW is one of several schools to participate in NCWIT’s Extension Services for Undergraduate Computing Programs (ES-UP). ES-UP provides customized consultation to undergraduate departments of computing to help them develop high-impact strategies for recruiting and retaining more women students.

To recognize the achievements of these outstanding departments, NCWIT established the NCWIT Extension Services Transformation (NEXT) Awards, with funding from These awards recognize ES-UP client departments that have shown significant positive outcomes in women’s enrollment and graduation rates, and have excellent potential for building on these gains. The awards reflect and reward practices that NCWIT recognizes as having the most significant impact on our long-term goal of increasing the number of women in information technology and other computing-related fields. View the 2015 NCWIT NEXT Awardees, including UW, Indiana University, and Michigan State University.

Male AdvocatesThe Tricky (And Necessary) Business Of Being A Male Advocate For Gender Equality

NCWIT Senior Research Scientists Dr. Catherine Ashcraft and Dr. Wendy DuBow contributed published an article in Fast Company about the importance of male advocacy in technology. The article provides two main reasons why male advocacy is important and what exactly men should be advocating for. The article features much of the research from the “Male Advocates and Allies: Promoting Gender Diversity in Technology Workplaces” report.  

New Resources

How Can You Engage a Diverse Range of Girls in Technology? COMPUGIRLS: Fostering Innovation and Developing Technosocial Change Agents (Case Study 1)

Culturally Responsive Computing (CRC) programs help educators connect computing curriculum to the interests, prior experiences, and needs of students diverse in race, class, ability, and sexual orientation. One such promising program is COMPUGIRLS.

How Do You Recruit or Retain Women Through Inclusive Pedagogy? Framing a Supportive Classroom Climate (Case Study 4)

Women and minority students are not in computing courses under the same conditions as their white male classmates. Instructional practices offer opportunities to level the playing field and improve the retention of underrepresented students. Framing a supportive classroom climate can influence how students interpret events in class and create a more inclusive learning environment.

Campus StudentsSurvey-in-a-Box: Student Experience of the Major (2015 Update)

Use the Survey-in-a-Box: Student Experience of the Major (SEM) to identify strengths and areas for improving your department’s efforts to retain students. The Survey-in-a-Box contains a full survey, with specific modules that can be used together or independently; an instruction manual; guidelines for getting human research approval when needed; information on how to administer paper and online versions of the survey; suggestions for action based on survey results; and much more.

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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