Did You Know?

Newspaper

Did you know about the women-in-medicine debate going on over at The New York Times? Last weekend, Dr. Karen Sibert wrote an essay decrying the number of women doctors who work part-time, alleging that by doing so these women are short-changing both patients and their presence in the profession. Since her essay was published it has lit a fire under several ongoing conversations — from the "mommy wars" to the elusive nature of work-life balance to the participation of women in high-pressure, demanding fields like the sciences.

Many of the issues being debated have application for the IT workplace, too: Is medicine better off because of women's participation, even if 40% of female doctors work part-time? Men have been doctors and fathers for hundreds of years without our questioning their ability to do both; why are we questioning women? Are there potential benefits to both consumers and the science overall if more practitioners, regardless of gender, had more career flexibility?

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Did you know that AA member Wilmington University recently was lauded by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security as a "National Center of Academic Excellence"? In a letter to the University,  the Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education said, "Your ability to meet the increasing demands of the program criteria will serve the nation well in contributing to the protection of the National Information Infrastructure."  Wilmington University also happens to be a Round 7 winner of the NCWIT Academic Alliance Seed Fund, using its $10,000 award to implement a design-and-analysis-based computing curriculum that attracts women and other underrepresented groups by teaching computing concepts in the context of design, gaming, forensics, storyboarding, and multimedia.

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Did you know that more than 50% of the U.S. Navy's STEM workforce will be eligible for retirement by 2020? At a Navy STEM Forum this week, the Navy declared its intention to double the amount of fund ing spent on progr ams that bolster th e STEM workforce to $100 million by 2015. You might also be interested to know that new K-12 Alliance member Iridescent Learning is one of the Navy's partners in this initiative, with a program that enlists "key influencers" such as educators and parents to help increase and encourage the pursuit of technical careers among girls and minorities. This week Iridescent also launched an Android app called "BUILD-a-BIRD" that teaches scientific concepts through hands-on play.

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One persistent criticism about the business world, in particular venture capital, is that it's often run by an "old boys club." But did you know that a "new girls network" is emerging? The female founders of such companies as Bilp.tv, Gilt Groupe, Foodspotting, MediaBistro, and LearnVest may still be among a minority of successful high-growth women entrepreneurs, but they are not alone — and they're networking with each other for advice, connections, and even funding. 

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Did you know that big companies are trying to imitate startups tin the competition for tech talent? The Wall Street Journal this week reported on the efforts of companies such as IBM, HP, and Microsoft to recruit college students who might otherwise be attracted to take jobs with  "sexier" startups.  Although many tech giants play up their hefty benefit packages, resources, and global reach, many others are trying to appeal to graduates by promoting what are typically considered startup perks: a flexible work environment, opportunities to work on cutting-edge technologies, and "game nights."

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Did you see that The New York Times has written prominently about computer science twice in the last week? In what we hope is a contagious display of attention to computing as a burgeoning and critical field, the Times wrote about how the movie "The Social Network" and the visibility of "celebrity" tech entrepreneurs have "energized" computer science departments around the country, with an uptick in student interest and enrollment. Then, in a separate feature at its "Room for Debate", the Times invited a group of educators, social scientists, and writers to comment on "Computer Science's 'Sputnik Moment'", envisioning a national call to computing.

Did You Know? is a brief round-up of information and news that crossed NCWIT’s radar this week that we think might be of interest to you. Practices or content of the news presented are not vetted or endorsed by NCWIT.