In the News: NCWIT Collegiate Award; Fixing the Environment, Not the Woman; CS in Federal Statutes; 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 Opportunity


Collegiate Award LogoNCWIT Collegiate Award: Now Accepting 2016 Applications

The NCWIT Collegiate Award, sponsored by HP and Qualcomm, honors the outstanding technical accomplishments of college women of any year of study. Conferred upon up to six winners annually, the Award recognizes technical projects that demonstrate a high level of creativity and potential societal impact.


A college woman may apply for the Collegiate Award if she meets the following criteria:

  • She is a member of the NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Community.

  • She is currently enrolled at an NCWIT Academic Alliance (AA) community college, four-year college or university, or other AA higher education institution within the U.S., Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, or on any U.S. overseas military bases.

  • She is an undergraduate or graduate student pursuing a degree in computing.

View the Collegiate Award Rules Sheet for a complete list of eligibility requirements.


Each Collegiate Award winner receives a $10,000 cash award, an engraved trophy, and a trip to the annual NCWIT Summit on Women and IT for recognition at an awards ceremony and an opportunity to network with Collegiate Award Sponsors at a private reception.

Each of the twelve women with honorable mentions receives a $2,500 cash award, a framed certificate, and a trip to the Summit and private reception.

Application Details

Students can apply online at no later than 8:00 p.m. EST on Monday, January 25, 2016.

Giving Season


Did you know that #GivingTuesday is observed each year on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving? This global day of giving encourages individuals to help bring about real change by donating their time and resources. With so many charitable organizations doing amazing work, we hope you’ll keep us in mind. Visit our Donation webpage for ways that you can contribute in support of NCWIT’s work for women in technology.


Bargain hunting on Amazon this #CyberMonday? You can show your support while you shop by selecting NCWIT as your non-profit recipient. Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to NCWIT. Find out more at


Women & IT News Snippets

SendGrid Diversity Update

NCWIT Entrepreneurial Alliance and Pacesetter Member SendGrid recently blogged a diversity and inclusion update about a year after the company’s initial public release. “We are really happy with it, but the work is not done. That’s pretty clear,” said Josh Ashton, SendGrid’s senior director of people, to The Denver Post. NCWIT’s Data Collection and Strategic Planning Guide can help other tech companies follow SendGrid’s lead to increase the meaningful participation of diverse groups in their organization:

Fixing the Environment, Not the Woman, Can Solve Underrepresentation

A recent article entitled “Where’s the diversity? Look at your culture, not your pipeline” highlighted the work of Nadya Fouad, PhD and Romila Singh, PhD. Fouad, Singh, and a team of researchers examined why women leave STEM via a three-year study. The study includes survey responses from about 3,745 women who have a degree in engineering, and their responses indicate that workplace climate was a “strong factor” in their decision to enter (after college) or leave the engineering field.

“Contrary to what the popular press would have you believe, we found no difference in self-confidence, no difference in the positive outcomes that were expected from performing engineering-related tasks and no difference in work and family related interests between those women who stayed in the field and women who left,” said Fouad.

Additional notable findings from the study are as follows:

  • Of those who left, nearly half did so because of working conditions, too much travel, lack of advancement or low salary.

  • One in four left to spend time with family, and many of those might have stayed if more options were available.

  • One in three of the women who left say it was because they did not like their workplace climate, their boss, or the workplace culture.

NCWIT’s Women in IT: The Facts notes additional workplace dissatisfactions that cause women to leave the technical workforce, as well as how to use an ecosystem approach to fix the the underrepresentation problem.

CS in Federal Statutes Can Guide Local Education Systems

A recent article on by author AJ Dellinger pointed to a number of organizations and corporations that have raised concern about the inclusion of computer science in a pair of bills under revision as part of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), otherwise known as No Child Left Behind. K-12 Alliance Member is among the organizations who asked legislators to leave in the mention of computer science as a “core academic subject.” team member Della Cronin told the Daily Dot, “Computer science isn’t explicitly cited in many federal — and state — education statutes. That means that computer science faces a challenge other subjects don’t in winning their attention in the fight for resource allocation.” Cronin explained that local education systems might be more inclined to give more attention and resources to computer science if the language remains in the bills because they often use federal statutes as a starting point for guidance.

At the local level, all states do not allow computer science to count as a math or science graduation requirement. Furthermore, surveys conducted by Google and Gallup found less than 10 percent of principals and superintendents believe demand for computer science is high among parents in their school or district, and less than 20 percent believe demand is high among students. Yet additional surveys found 91 percent of parents want their child to learn more computer science and 83 percent of students are at least somewhat likely to want to learn computer science.

How can you advocate for the incorporation of computer science in schools? NCWIT Talking Points “Moving Beyond Computer Literacy” covers the value of computer science curriculum and offers steps schools can take to successfully incorporate computer science education. Additionally, Girls in IT: The Facts, sponsored by the K-12 Alliance, outlines recommendations and links to practical resources for educators, parents, administrators, legislators, and policymakers looking to make change.


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