2015 NCWIT Summit on Women and IT

2015 NCWIT Summit on Women and IT

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. Hundreds of change leaders from our community of educators, entrepreneurs, corporate executives, and social scientists received research, ideas, and action items for increasing girls’ and women’s participation in computing.

2015 Summit Highlights

  • Learning from experts. Notable guests and inspirational plenary speakers included Mayim Bialik, PhD, Actress and Activist; Karen Ashcraft, Professor of Communication, University of Colorado Boulder; Benjamin Todd Jealous, Partner, Kapor Capital; Maggie Johnson, Director of Education and University Relations, Google; and Joan C. Williams, Center for WorkLife Law, Distinguished Professor of Law, UC Hastings Foundation Chair and Director.
  • Taking action. NCWIT Empower Hours are interactive sessions that prepare members to take action at the individual, organizational, and community levels. Attendees learned about research and evidence-based practices from experts in the field, as well as from the experiences of their peers and colleagues, and walked away with strategies they can use.
  • Celebrating. Distinguished honorees included the 2015 NCWIT Pioneer Award Winners Katherine Johnson and Dr. Christine Darden. We also honored recipients of several academic awards that recognize remarkable mentoring, research, recruiting, and retaining efforts in academia. Additionally, we recognized the inaugural winner for the first-ever SET Award for Portrayal of a Female in Technology!

"I am often frustrated by the lack of innovative thinking and new insights from many conferences. This was not my experience at NCWIT. I left Hilton Head inspired and invigorated."

2015 NCWIT Summit Attendee


Lucy Sanders

Lucy Sanders

Lucy Sanders is CEO and Co-founder of the National Center...

Cathy Hawley

Cathy Hawley

Cathy Hawley is a Sr. Director of People Development at...

Amy Gurley

Amy Gurley

Amy Gurley is the global program lead for Bank of...

Linda Ott

Linda Ott, PhD

Dr. Linda M. Ott received her PhD in computer science...

Bobby Schnabel

Bobby Schnabel

Bobby Schnabel is a Professor of Computer Science at University...

Kimberly Bryant

Kimberly Bryant

Kimberly Bryant is the Founder and Executive Director of Black...

Jeffrey Forbes

Jeffrey Forbes

Jeff Forbes is a Program Director for the Education and...

Maggie Johnson

Maggie Johnson

Maggie Johnson is Director of Education and University Relations for...

Karen Ashcraft

Karen Ashcraft

Karen Lee Ashcraft is a Professor of Organizational Communication at...

Janice Zdankus

Janice Zdankus

Janice Zdankus is Vice President of Quality in Hewlett Packard...

Mayim Bialik Headshot

Mayim Bialik, PhD

Actress and Activist  Mayim Hoya Bialik currently stars as Amy...

Renee Smith headshot

Renée Smith

A New York native, Renée Felice Smith moved across the...

Owen Astrachan headshot

Owen Astrachan

Owen Astrachan is Professor of the Practice of Computer Science...

Colin Bodell headshot

Colin Bodell

Colin Bodell serves as the vice president of engineering for Shopify...

Janet Hyde

Janet Hyde

Janet Hyde is the Helen Thompson Woolley Professor of Psychology...

Katherine Johnson

Katherine Johnson

As a NASA mathematician, Katherine Johnson’s calculations include the trajectory...

Peggy Johnson headshot

Peggy Johnson

As executive vice president of business development at Microsoft, Peggy...

Yasmin Kafai headshot

Yasmin Kafai

Yasmin Kafai is Professor of Learning Sciences at the University...

Rane Johnson headshot

Rane Johnson-Stempson

Rane Johnson-Stempson is a certified partnership broker and Principal Research...

Lucy Mendel headshot

Lucy Mendel

Lucy Mendel holds two Computer Science degrees from MIT and...

Amanda Neuf

Amanda Neuf

Amanda Neuf is a Director within AT&T’s Technology Development organization....

Katie Orenstein headshot

Katie Orenstein

Katie Orenstein, Founder and CEO of the OpEd Project, writes...

Lourdes Ramirez headshot

Lourdes Ramírez

Lourdes M. Castro Ramírez serves as the Principal Deputy Assistant...

Miranda Reeves headshot

Miranda Reeves

Before becoming Director of Product Management at Return Path, Miranda...

Jeremy Sonnenburg headshot

Jeremy Sonnenburg

Jeremy L. Sonnenburg is a Managing Director in RBC’s Capital...

Randy Stoecker headshot

Randy Stoecker

Randy Stoecker is a Professor in the Department of Community...

Linda Werner headshot

Linda Werner

Dr. Linda Werner is an Adjunct Professor in the Computer...

Joan Williams headshot

Joan C. Williams

Joan C. Williams Williams is Distinguished Professor of Law and...

Janice Zdankus Photo

Janice Zdankus

Janice Zdankus is Vice President of Quality in Hewlett Packard...



We greatly appreciate our Media Partners JupiterReturn, Microsoft, and FabLab for production and making the livestream possible.

2015 NCWIT Summit Program

Download the printed program, containing detailed information about speakers, 2015 Community Award recipients, featured new resources, and more.

Download PDF

Extension Services Client Showcase Posters

During the Extension Services Client Showcase at the 2015 NCWIT Summit on Women and IT, selected clients presented posters with high-impact strategies for recruiting and retaining more women students in their undergraduate computing programs. Peruse the posters for the following clients to learn what they did or are doing that may help you achieve your goals.
  • College of St. Scholastica
  • Indiana University-Bloomington
  • Michigan State University
  • Purdue University
  • University of Central Florida
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Texas-El Paso
  • University of Washington
  • Virginia Tech

2015 Book Club

It’s NCWIT FlashTalks … in the Shark Tank.

For over ten years, NCWIT has depended on members’ ideas in order to create the most useful research, tools, and platforms to support their efforts to increase the meaningful participation of girls and women in computing. Here’s a fun way to tell us about your idea — something NCWIT should prioritize in the areas of diversity, education, image, innovation, social movements, and more.

We gave five members of the NCWIT community five minutes each to give a FlashTalk on new ways that NCWIT can continue to empower you as a change leader for women in technology. This was their opportunity to tell us about that item on their wish list — “I really wish NCWIT had research on this,” or “It’d be awesome if NCWIT ran a campaign focused on this.”

Congratulations to Dr. Linda Ott, the winning Flash Tank presenter who received a Surface Pro 3, courtesy of Microsoft, and whose idea will be considered for ideation and possible implementation by NCWIT. View the entire FlashTank in our archive

The 2015 NCWIT FlashTank is sponsored by the Royal Bank of Canada and the NCWIT Board of Directors.

What is a FlashTalk?

If you’ve heard of Ignite® or Pecha Kucha or lightning talks, then you know what we’re talking about. An NCWIT FlashTalk is a short, thought-provoking PowerPoint presentation, delivered in a fixed format:

20 slides that automatically advance every

15 seconds for a total talk time of

5 minutes.

Check out FlashTalk videos from previous NCWIT Summits.

Two Twists: FlashTalks in the Shark Tank

  • A panel of experts will moderate a brief discussion after each FlashTalk to help expand upon your idea. Convince them that they cannot afford to miss out on capitalizing on your idea.
  • At least one innovative idea will be considered for ideation and possible implementation by NCWIT.

Sponsorship Opportunities

Sponsorship Opportunities for the 2021 NCWIT Summit Are Available

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