2013 NCWIT Summit – State of NCWIT

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BOBBY SCHNABEL: I’m Bobby Schnabel, and on behalf of my fellow co-founders of NCWIT, Lucy Sanders, who’s the CEO of NCWIT, and Telle Whitney, who’s the CEO of the Anita Borg Institute, it’s a delight to welcome you back to the second day of the summit. I would like to believe that I can actually see you, but with these lights in my eyes, I can’t do that. Let me remind you that we’re being both streamed live and recorded by Turner Broadcast. We’re very grateful to Turner. They’re one of the generous supporters of NCWIT. Let me also remind all the speakers that as opposed to the Academy Awards, there’s no half-second delay and bleeping going on here. [audience laughs] So you actually have to watch what you’re saying. Speaking of the sponsors of NCWIT, we’ll have an opportunity at the latter part of the session to hear from one of our generous sponsors. The longest-standing supporter and funder of NCWIT is the National Science Foundation. And I had the opportunity last week to see the head of the computing director to the National Science Foundation, Farnam Jahanian, and he asked specifically if I would convey his support and greetings to this meeting. Farnam and NSF in general are great supporters of NCWIT and we’re very grateful for that. Now, a couple of people who many of you know well, Jan Cuny and Jeff Forbes from NSF are here and so you’ll have time to hear from them both today as well. So the good news of this session is that I’m just the moderator. Most of your time will be spent listening to people who are far more interesting than I am. I’m just gonna make a couple of introductory slide remarks first. But let me ask a question before that. As we go on to talk about NCWIT, how many of you are here for the first time? Great. So you definitely should listen. But for the other people… [audience laughs] This is is a little different than the airlines. It’s not the same speech every time, so you might as well. The National Center for Women in IT’s mission is to significantly increase girls’ and women’s meaningful participation in computing. And it does this through the three approaches that are seen there in the circles. The first of them is the learning communities and you are the learning communities. The learning communities are the alliances that we’ll scan through briefly on the next slide. One of the amazing pieces of progress is that the number of organizations involved in these communities has increased from 300 a year ago to about 450 this year. The second one of those is evidence. And evidence is the basis of what NCWIT does. NCWIT’s programs are based on research-based evidence. NCWIT has become known for forming the publications. Many of them are out there. So you have out there the Male Advocates and Allies publication which NCWIT not only produced but actually supported the research that did the Ten Ways to Recruit Women into Your Computing Classes and many others are examples of that. NCWIT also cut over a new website almost a year ago, which made it considerably easier to find those resources. The third of those is action. And my new categorization for what that consists of are the three Ps: policy, programs, and publicity. Those are things that NCWIT’s engaged in. And let me just give you a couple examples of that. One, of course, the biggest program that NCWIT has started to lead is the Aspirations Program. Aspirations this year grew to 54 regional programs and you are the people who are responsible for that. So thank you to everybody who’s played a role in those Aspirations programs. As one other example, later today there’s a couple of different opportunities to hear about things that are going on in K-12 education. There’s a workshop session repeated a couple times about CS 10 K. You’ll get to hear about from Hadi Partovi about code.org. The good thing is that NCWIT, by the prominence it’s achieved, is a partner in all those conversations. And what that means is that the issues that we’re interested in, those diversity issues, are front and center in those conversations from the start. So those are the three parts of NCWIT. The other thing I’ll do to start off is just remind you of the parts of those learning communities. There’s six of them. And just a couple sentences on each. The K-12 alliance is concerned with both the image and content of computing at the K-12 level. And it’s had a very big role in that Aspirations Program. Which is not only awarding people but also creating a pipeline. In fact, I thought we might take a moment to ask everybody who’s in the audience who has been or is an Aspirations winner to stand up. [audience claps] And there’s more here so I think some of them are getting a little sleep in preference to this session. [audience laughs] The academic alliance is the group of change leaders in higher education. One of the key things that the academic alliance is doing at this meeting is working much more on the involvement of community colleges in the academic alliance and in the activities of NCWIT. Similarly, the workforce alliance works at change at the corporate level and it was major activity, a multi-year activity of the workforce alliance to lead to the production of this Male Advocates Report, which is a very important one. The next two are newer ones. The entrepreneurial alliance is something that we started just in the last few years. It’s a way to get young companies to think about and incorporate diversity in what they’re doing from the outset. And that alliance has grown to about 80 members in the last year. So that’s a significant growth. The affinity group alliance is a younger one of women in computing and other affinity groups and it’s working on how it works with the Sit with Me campaign, with the Aspirations Awards and other things. And finally, the social science advisory board really is what keeps NCWIT honest and on research principles. This is group we had from the start of distinguished social scientists, I see some of them in the audience this morning already, who meet and help us make sure that everything we do is based on solid social science principles. So what we’re gonna do for the rest of the session is hear from speakers who represent a snapshot of each of these three parts. The learning communities, the evidence, and the action parts of NCWIT. And then have a special presentation from Microsoft. So the first of those three I’m gonna invite up, Scott McCrickard and Tommy Thompson together and just let me give brief intros to each of them. Scott is an associate professor of computer science at Virginia Tech. His research is in areas including notification systems, design methods for interfaces, peripheral and secondary displays and interfaces for mobile computing devices. Scott’s been really active in diversity issues for his entire career. He chairs the Computer Science at Virginia Tech Diversity Committee and received the NCWIT Research Mentoring Award for his work with women and minority undergraduate students last year. Tommy is the director of IT at AT&T. He’s responsible for leading MATREX, which is AT&T’s college new hire and intern development program. Previously he managed the N10 delivery of AT&T’s mobility and U-verse products. And AT&T is NCWIT’s newest investment partner, so I’d like to also take this opportunity to thank AT&T and Tommy for that. [audience claps]

SCOTT MCCRICKARD: Okay. Good morning, everybody. I helped to select this undergraduate research mentoring award with a long, long list of other people. And the good thing about only having a couple of minutes is that I can’t even try to list them all ’cause I know I’d forget some. We’re gonna get to hear from them at the academic alliance meeting, for those of you who are going to that. But for today, I would like to announce those awards, if we can pop up the next slide. Okay. So a bit about the award first. This is the second year that we’ve selected it. And the first year that AT&T has very generously supported it. The award recognizes people at various levels for their support of undergraduate research. So undergraduate research is something that is generally not the primary focus of any one faculty member, but is obviously very, very important. It helps to get people into the pipeline and particularly get women in the pipeline and we’d like to recognize people who have taken their time to make that happen. We’ve selected four awards. Both at the junior level and the senior levels, so full professors for one award and assistant associate professors for the other. And we have selected awards at the PhD-granting institutions as well as BS/MS schools. So without any further ado, I’d like for the four award winners to stand up here first as Margaret… I knew I’d get this wrong! Margaret Martonosi from Princeton University. As soon as she told me that her name was easy to pronounce, I knew I’d get that wrong. Anne Ngu from Texas State University. Faye Cobb Payton from North Carolina State University. And Cheryl Swanier from Fort Valley State University. And I assume you’re standing up. [audience claps] I’m gonna turn it over to Tommy to talk a bit about their support.

TOMMY SIMPSON: Thanks, Scott. So as AT&T, we’re just glad and thankful to be partnering with NCWIT and partnering with the committee that Scott’s headed up to select these winners. One change that we did want to announce today is a $5,000 award that will be made to each of the 2013 winners. [audience claps] We will be granting that money to the university in their name for them to use as they see fit to further their efforts. Another thing that we did want to announce is that we… Since this program, or this award, just began last year, we also want to do the same for the 2012 winners. [audience claps] That will include Scott McCrickard here to my left from Virginia Tech. Juan Gilbert from Clemson University. Diana Franklin from the University of California at Santa Barbara. And Mingrui Zhang from Winona State. So if you guys are here, please stand up as well. We just want to remember and thank you again for what you’ve done last year. [audience claps] So with all that, thanks to all the award winners this year and, Scott, congratulations as well and thanks for your hard work. Thanks guys. [audience claps]

BOBBY SCHNABEL: Thanks, Scott and Tommy. And by the way in the true spirit of reality TV, Scott did not know that that was coming. [audience laughs] The next thing we’re gonna do is turn to a speaker about a new NCWIT resource. And just a minute first about NCWIT resources in general, as I said before, this is really something that’s become the hallmark of NCWIT, producing high-quality resources that can be used at a lot of levels. I can go through them in great detail but actually, if you want to know about the new resources that somewhere in your programs is a really nice couple of pages that details at least a number of them. And we’ve mentioned some of them and they range from at the K-12 level advice on how to encourage girls to take high school classes. At the university level, and actually all levels, understanding stereotype threat, so you can use that in all of the places where that’s pertinent. At the corporate level, we mentioned the male influencers, the Who Patents is another great example of that. And so with that, it’s a pleasure now to turn to Dr. Elsa Macias. Elsa consults on research and policy projects that focus on increasing excellence and equity in education for women. She previously was at the University of Southern California where she focused on database decision-making and higher education. Dr. Macias has briefed elected officials at the federal, state, local levels and her research has been funded by many funding agencies including the National Science Foundation, the Kellogg Foundation, and the Department of Commerce. And she’s going to talk, as you can see there, about the Latina Computing Microsite. Elsa. [audience claps]

DR. ELSA MACIAS: Well, good morning. Let’s see if I can do this. All right, good. Well, I’ve been very excited to be working with NCWIT on the Latina Computing Microsite. It’s a project of the K through 12 alliance, who wanted to make sure that all of the NCWIT’s mission and all of its valuable resources were available to all girls. So the Latina Computing Microsite is multimedia site. It’s got Spanish language content that will range awareness about the opportunities for Latina girls. And in the field of computing and it’s also hopefully going to increase their meaningful participation in computing and IT. The audience for this Microsite is our Spanish-speaking girls in the US and Puerto Rico and also girls, their parents, their families, the influencers of these people. We were guided by an advisory board who provided oversight for the messaging, reviewed the translations, connected NCWIT with Latinas who are good role models for this website. And then we also looked to our board members to help us disseminate the Microsite within their networks. I also wanted to say that we’re especially grateful to Motorola Solutions Foundation for graciously funding this project. All right, here’s a screenshot of the Microsite, as you can see on the left there. It features K through 12 outreach materials that are translated into Spanish. Some of the main features include resources such as our Talking Points card, which computing pathway is right for me. And you can see that there are links with many more helpful resources. I’m not sure how well you can see it, but I assure you that it is all in Spanish and it’s got a lot of resources already there. So you can also see that on the right, well kind of in the center of the screen there, we have profiles for Latina role models. For instance, we have Vanessa Aponte, who is an aerospace engineer at Lockheed Martin Space Systems and Anamary Leal, who’s a computer science doctoral student at Virginia Tech. And we selected profiles and videos that we thought would convey important messages about computing as an exciting, lucrative, stable and very creative career field. So this Microsite will launch this summer. We’ll look to each of the alliance for your help in distributing this information and getting it to the right audiences. For example, the K through 12 alliance can leverage its membership of national girls-serving organizations and professional educator associations, academic institutions and businesses to reach Spanish-speaking girls and their influencers. The entrepreneurial alliance could provide national visibility among its robust membership of industry professionals. And then we are also looking to the workforce alliance to help us connect Latinas who have a budding interest in computing to industry and academic experts who might serve as mentors and conduits to internships. The affinity group alliance could assist our outreach and awareness efforts in many different ways as well. So look for an announcement this summer and start to think now about ways that you can help us to disseminate this valuable resource. Muchos gracias. [audience claps]

BOBBY SCHNABEL: Thanks very much, Elsa. And thanks to everybody who is involved in creating this really valuable resource for NCWIT and for girls and women in computing. We’ll now switch to the action part of the NCWIT triad. And so it’s my pleasure to introduce Lee Wills-Irvine. Lee is the Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Qualcomm. There she oversees employee training to ensure that diversity is woven in throughout Qualcomm. She helped design and manage Qualcomm’s Women’s Mentoring Program and was instrumental in development of the Athena San Diego Mentoring Program. Lee’s been recognized quite a bit for this work, including being a recipient of the Women Who Mean Business Award from the San Diego Business Journal and recently recognized with the President’s Special Diversity Award by the Urban League of San Diego County. By the way, Qualcomm is a Pacesetter itself and a member of the workforce alliance and so we thank you for that as well. [audience claps]

LEE WILLS IRVINE: Thanks, Bobby. And good morning to everyone. So what is Pacesetter? You’ve heard a little bit about it. It was an initiative that was started by NCWIT in 2011 and the entire goal of Pacesetters is to increase the number of technical women in industry and universities. So our pipeline and our current level of women. Qualcomm’s proud to be a national sponsor of Pacesetters along with Google and the National Science Foundation. There’s two really important elements to the Pacesetters initiative. One is the overall engagement of the companies and not just the companies, but particular leadership. So there are action-oriented programs but there are also seniors and leaders who are engaged in championing this at each and every company. The other piece is the quantifiable goals. So there is a metric that we’re looking at, that we want to achieve, and that we’re measuring our success. Pacesetters, we have a new cohort ever couple of years so we’re starting a new cohort right now. It kicked off in February. It kicked off in February and the whole idea is that we will continue this goal each and every couple of years. Now the first pilot, we started off with goal of 1000. We didn’t just meet the goal, we exceeded it by over 60%. There are a lot of… [audience claps] There are a lot of different strategies that we’re utilizing in order to do this. We looked K through 12. Looking at young girls, trying to encourage and excite their interests. A lot of companies, I know Microsoft for example, focused on the K through 12 initiative. At Qualcomm, we focused on the community’s side, really building up our women’s group and getting them involved and engaged. So there isn’t one answer for this. It’s multiple, multiple answers. We have a cohort of universities and corporations and I’d really like to recognize all of them who are here today. So if you would stand up and be recognized as a Pacesetter, that would be great. [audience claps] So what you’ll see on this slide is that we… Here we go. We actually had all of our Pacesetters come back from last year as well increasing the number of Pacesetters by including some start-up organizations. This is really great because, as you know, technology does not have one face. It has multiple faces. There’s the large corporations, there’s the start-ups, there’s education. So we want to make sure that everyone is involved and engaged in making a difference in this initiative. So thank you very much. And please, if you got ideas about how to engage women and girls in science technology, let us know because we want your involvement because it takes all of us, our collaboration, to make a difference. Thank you. [audience claps]

BOBBY SCHNABEL: Thanks very much, Lee. And thanks to everybody who’s been involved in the Pacesetters program, which has really become a landmark program of NCWIT and a way that we’re really making a difference. Now it’s my pleasure to come to the concluding part of this session by introducing Dr. Tony Hey, who will make a special announcement. Tony is somebody who’s very well-known to many of us in the computing community. He’s currently Vice President of Microsoft Research Connections in Microsoft Research, where he’s responsible for worldwide university research collaborations with Microsoft researchers. And also on the scientific side, he’s responsible for the multidisciplinary science research group within Microsoft Research. Tony’s list of honors would take us into the afternoon, but he’s a fellow of the UK Royal Academy of Engineering, was awarded a CBE, that one’s worth knowing about, by the way, it stands officially for Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. [audience laughs] In 2005. Many others, he’s fellow if the British Computer Society, the Institute of Electronic Engineering and Technology, the Institute of Physics, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Before Tony joined Microsoft, he had a distinguished academic career, including serving as head of the School of Electronics and Computer Science and then Dean of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of South Hampton where he not only built a department in computer science that was renowned, but also led quite a bit emphasis in diversity. So it’s a great honor to have Tony joining us today. [audience claps]

TONY HEY: Thank you very much, Bobby. So the most relevant part of all the background is that I was Dean of Engineering and we had a problem with the number of women doing engineering at my university, South Hampton in England. And I set up a women in engineering group. And I had a wonderful person to lead it and so on. I had to say, it was a very intimidating meeting when I found I was at a committee meeting where I was the only male. [audience laughs] And I recognize that you guys see that all the time but for me it was an interesting experience. Okay. What I do is run Microsoft Research Connections, so we collaborate with universities around the world and I have a wonderful opportunity to see wonderful researchers and really have a really privileged time in collaborating with these great people around the world. What I’m talking about today is our connections with NCWIT. So you’ve all seen these statistics. They are extremely interesting. A large number of jobs in IT, which only a small percentage can be filled by the number coming through the US computing pipeline. Girls are only 46% of AP takers, but, sorry, 19% of the computer science. Again, that’s an NCWIT number. And 18% of undergraduate computing and information sciences degrees were awarded to women. And these are numbers that we really should try and do something about. So twice as many women lead computing careers than their male counterparts during the middle of their career. And the number of women completing Masters and Doctoral degrees in computing is holding steady or declining slightly at around 30%. So a large number of numbers, which we’d like to do something about. There are really interesting numbers like, for example, Microsoft is concerned, the tech companies with more women in their leadership teams have a 34% higher return on investment. The presence of women in technical teams increases team’s collective intelligence, problem-solving ability and so on. And inventors teams including women have higher citations. So there’s every reason for a company like Microsoft to really care about the pipeline and get more women into computing. And these numbers, obviously, are generated by NCWIT, which I think does a great job in generating these facts. Microsoft then has a reason to care about diversity and inclusion and including… We include not the minority, women are half the population. We really need to actually take advantage of that and we want to hire top talent and to continue to innovate, otherwise Microsoft won’t survive. And in Microsoft Research, as you’ll see from the quotation from Rick Rashid, who founded and has led Microsoft Research for the last 22 years, he really believes that having women in the teams makes a big difference. And getting women involved in research projects and having interns and collaborating with universities is something that we regard as vitally important. Diversity drives innovation, it’s critical to our business innovation, and women are critical to innovation. Gender balance promotes team productivity. I think my team is about 50 people, I think I have the highest percentage of women in Microsoft Research in my group and it really makes a difference. Diversity, of course, drives market reach because women have a lot of purchasing power and buy lots of devices and we need to know what sort of devices they want. It’s really important. It says here, 40 to 60, the women surpass men 18 to 34 in purchasing the latest mobile technologies. That’s certainly true of my wife, [audience laughs] who certainly always surprises me with her latest device that she’s bought. So 55 billion in consumer technology projects. And by having diversity in our teams, we can actually try and do better at producing things that people really want. These are things that Microsoft takes very seriously and we’re really extremely important to the company at large. Why are we involved in NCWIT? Well, we’ve been involved for a long time now and our partnership is about the opportunity. We know that to make broad societal change, corporations must be a leader in the industry. So we want Microsoft to be a leader in this space, in helping get a larger pipeline of women in computing. The more that we can do in this space, it will actually catalyze a bandwagon, people will follow and see the benefits of it. And it’s important, we feel, that programs like NCWIT produce women like Emily P. Brown. Emily, I think, is certainly here at the meeting. I saw her yesterday. But let me tell you a little bit about Emily. She’s presenting a flash talk on how to make computing more accessible to students outside the traditional pipeline. We know that lots of girls are excluded from computing because they either missed the early introduction or their school does not have classes in computing science or they live in rural communities and so on. These are the aspirations of computing. These can touch these girls and help them become an enabler for students like Emily. So Emily is the first in her family to pursue a higher education degree. And while she was in high school, she taught her peers programming after school. And today she’s a sophomore in computer and information technology with a focus on information systems at Purdue. So she’s a leader of their women in computing group and she’s decided that the path she’s been able to take is one that she wants others to take as well. She’s setting out to start a middle school… Aspire IT middle school computing group and, with another colleague, Janneth, she’s actually starting that program and we wish her well. So we believe people like Emily are the reasons we are doing such a great job in NCWIT and that’s one of the reasons why Microsoft is very keen to continue supporting. So can we have a hand of applause to Emily and Janneth? [claps] And I do invite you to watch Emily’s flash talk later on today. Those are all the reasons why Microsoft is committing today to another four years of sponsorship for NCWIT. So our funding… [audience claps] We thank Lucy and her team who have done a great job, and the alliances, as you heard from Bobby and others, are really making a difference. We’ll actually focus our money slightly differently this time. We’ll certainly support the academic alliance Seed Fund Award and the Aspirations Computing Program but a slightly different balance. So we’re committed to building a pipeline of talent for girls in technology and this program, we believe, is a key to doing so. We’re going to change a little bit the program, starting with a new portal that connects applicants to the program, not just award recipients, anybody. All participants, educators, parents, will receive support, resources, and opportunities. Applying for the Aspirations Award, leading an Aspire IT Middle School Program, or participating in webinars or internships or resumes are some of the skills that girls might learn and do in the program. And really it’s more important than that. The program features not just a one-off short-term engagement. It features a five- to ten-year engagement horizon. Girls entering the program in middle or high school, receiving support across the critical transition points, middle to high school, high school to college, college to internship or job placement. We are also able to connect those girls to other programs offered by companies and universities. For example, at Microsoft, we have through the DigiGirlz Program reached over 5000 girls during the last three years, connecting high school girls with technology. But connecting those girls to this program, in return connecting those girls to university outreach programs and engaging them all to the middle school girls, that’s really a pipeline. We have lots of little programs, all isolated. Really we see the opportunity with NCWIT to bring them all together and really generate a really significant movement across the nation. So really, we think the work of NCWIT is critically important and we’re really happy to be supporting it for another four years. Thank you very much. [audience claps]

BOBBY SCHNABEL: And, Tony, thank you so much not only for those inspiring remarks but also for Microsoft’s continuing research with both provides NCWIT but also provides a strong message to the rest of this community and we really appreciate both of those reasons. We’re at the end of this session. Just a couple of comments to sum up. First of all, as these words are meant to depict, NCWIT isn’t an organization of a few people. NCWIT is all of you. You’re all change agents who go out in your own organizations and lead that change and we greatly appreciate that. NCWIT is also ever-growing a very capable staff and we want to take this opportunity to ask the staff member of NCWIT who are in the room to please rise so that we can thank them for everything that they do. [claps]

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