|NCWIT NEWSLETTER – Summer 2009|
NCWIT celebrates five years!
NCWIT’s May 2009 NCWIT Meetings took place May 12-14 in Palo Alto and Mountain View, California. Google hosted our workshop, “Global Status of Women in Technology,” as well as NCWIT’s fifth birthday party.
The workshop encouraged us to “think globally” about the issues surrounding women’s participation in IT across the globe, and “act locally” to bring the implications of what we learn back to the context of our own organizations. Taking a global perspective calls our attention to the roles that culture and economic development play in shaping women’s participation as creators and consumers of IT.
Workshop speakers included:
The workshop concluded with a reception to recognize the local winners of the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in computing; we also celebrated NCWIT’s first five years. The artifacts table of original logo designs, pictures, and documents reminded us of how far we’ve come since our first national meeting in May 2004 in Boulder, Colorado, where we announced our formation and funding from the National Science Foundation. Since our inception, we’ve focused on building an infrastructure for achieving accelerated, national progress towards women’s participation, and now we are putting that infrastructure to work with a wealth of resources, programs, community, and – most importantly – people like you. Thanks to all of you who are making a difference for girls and women in computing.
We look forward to seeing you at our next NCWIT Promising Practices Workshop in May 2010 at Intel in Portland, Oregon.
In May NCWIT introduced the first annual NCWIT Symons Innovator Award and celebrated the 2009 award-winner, Anousheh Ansari.
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 award ceremony recognizing Anousheh Ansari and honoring Jeanette Symons took place on May 11, 2009, in Atherton, California.
Anousheh Ansari is Chair, CEO, and Co-founder of Prodea Systems, a company addressing the challenges of complex digital home and small-business environments. Prior to founding Prodea Systems, Ms. Ansari served as Co-founder, Chair, and CEO of Telecom Technologies, Inc., which in 2001 successfully merged with Sonus Networks, Inc., in a deal worth approximately $750M. Ms. Ansari also is the first woman private explorer in space and the first astronaut of Iranian descent. The Ansari family provided title sponsorship for the Ansari X Prize, a $10 million award to inspire the first non-governmental, manned spacecraft, driving the commercialization of the space industry.
The NCWIT/NSF BPC K-12 Outreach Workshop took place June 10-12, 2009 in Crystal City, Virginia.
This workshop encouraged leaders of K-12 computing outreach projects and programs to learn from each other, share promising practices, and collaborate. Participants discussed the following questions: How do we effectively front-load the pipeline in order to achieve desired participation down the road? What innovative programs or strategies can we adapt and scale in new and interesting ways to attract more students to computing? How do we design high quality outreach programs and resources, and how do we measure the impact of these efforts?
The keynote speakers were:
A range of breakout sessions included Creating High Quality Resources; Working with Diverse Communities; Working with Curriculum, Schools, and School Districts; CS Outreach Using Virtual Worlds; Robotics Programs for CS Outreach; Introducing Programming; and Effectively Evaluating Your Programs and Resources.
Attendees were encouraged to network and talk to each other about their work, and could check out project demonstrations of MC2, STARS, RoboCup Junior, and Botball throughout the conference.
Visit www.ncwit.org/bpc to find out more.
On March 7, 2009, NCWIT and Bank of America recognized 32 high school women for their accomplishments and aspirations in computing and technology.
The NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing was created to highlight the computing aspirations of young women, introduce them to leadership opportunities in the field, and generate visibility for women’s participation in technology fields. The 32 award-winners, chosen from among 379 applications from 38 states, were selected for their outstanding aptitude and interest in technology and computing, leadership ability, academic history, and plans for post-secondary education. The award-winners were honored in Charlotte, North Carolina at the Bank of America Technology Stars of the Future Technology Showcase & Awards Ceremony. A video profiling their interests and achievements will be available in July at the NCWIT website. Applications for the next award will open in the fall. Visit www.ncwit.org/award to find out more.
NCWIT Pacesetters is a new initiative that seeks to accelerate the increased participation of women in IT at NCWIT member organizations. Pacesetters will surround members with resources and support, help them build a constituency base within their organizations by identifying “champions”, and give these champions ongoing information about actions and behaviors they can undertake to create organizational transformation.
The 20 pilot Pacesetter organizations from higher education and industry have committed to identifying an executive-level champion, actively funding their reform programs, and attending regular meetings where they will report on their progress and share experiences with others in the Pacesetter community. It represents an exciting strategic move from awareness to reform and will challenge participants to become leaders in attracting and retaining women to computing.
NCWIT Pacesetters will be administered in cooperation with The Coffman Organization, an international management consulting and research firm that uses research-based approaches to help clients undertake corporate change and develop an effective employee workforce. Founder Curt Coffman is co-author of the New York Times bestseller, First, Break all the Rules, was formerly with the Gallup Organization, and spoke at NCWIT’s November 2007 Meetings.