Two non-profits collectively further their missions to showcase diversity in tech as inspiration for women to pursue computing.
The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), a non-profit that works to increase women’s meaningful participation in computing, and Wogrammer, a non-profit aiming to break stereotypes by presenting authentic profiles of women in STEM, partner to celebrate diverse women in tech through the power of social media storytelling.
In 2018, 57 percent of professional occupations in the U.S. workforce were women, but women held on 26 percent of the computing workforce. And, less than 15 percent were women of color (6 percent were Asian, 3 percent were African-American, and 2 percent were Hispanic). [Source: DuBow, W. (2019). Women and Information Technology: By the Numbers. Boulder, CO: NCWIT. Retrieved from: www.ncwit.org/bythenumbers.]
“The more we highlight diverse people with varied passions for innovation, the more likely for a broader range of individuals to relate and have aspects of their identities validated—ultimately encouraging people from all backgrounds to pursue computing education and careers,” said NCWIT President and CTO Terry Hogan.
Through their media partnership, nearly a dozen women in computing from NCWIT programs, specifically from the Aspirations in Computing (AiC) Community and TECHNOLOchicas, will be profiled on the Wogrammer platform and cross-featured on NCWIT communications channels in order to maximize visibility and engagement.
Take a look back at features thus far:
Victoria Chávez is a TECHNOLOchica who looking at ways to make computer science, as well as education technologies, more accessible to students with disabilities while working on a master’s degree in Urban Education Policy at Brown University. (Read Wogrammer’s blog post online.)
Ananya Cleetus is a 2014 National Award for AiC winner who not only has a day named after her in the city of Pittsburgh, but she is also the creator of an app called Anemone, a TEDx speaker, and a computer science student at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. (Read Wogrammer’s blog post online.)
Vaishnavi Dornadula is a 2016 National Award for AiC honorable mention who has always been interested in the intersection of art and technology, and this summer she built an LED skirt to learn more about working with electronics, programming in Arduino, and using microcontrollers.
Patricia Garcia is a TECHNOLOchica who is pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering with a research interest in the mechanical design of medical devices and prostheses. (Read Wogrammer’s blog post online.)
Caeley Looney is a TECHNOLOchica and a 2014 National Award for AiC honorable mention who recently graduated with a BS in Aerospace Engineering with a concentration in Astronautics and just completed an internship at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.
Swetha Prabakaran is a 2019 NCWIT Collegiate Award honorable mention who was honored as a White House Champion of Change at just 15 years old, and co-directed/choreographed “Microsoft: The Musical” as an intern. (Read Wogrammer’s blog post online.)
Pia Sen is a 2015 Austin Affiliate Award for AiC recipient whose passion for astrobiology could contribute to important knowledge about the ways that bacteria evolve on earth now, and how to engineer bacteria to terraform other planets in the future.
Arial Saultz is a 2012 National Award for AiC honorable mention who started pursuing a Computer Science degree in college at age 14, got her first developer role at 15, and became an IT project manager at 16!