LEADERS GATHER FOR CHICAGO SUMMIT ON WOMEN IN TECH

May 21, 2012

Companies, universities, and government organizations share recruitment and retention strategies

(BUSINESSWIRE) Tomorrow the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) will kick off its annual Summit on Women and IT, an event that assembles industry leaders, educators, and members of government to focus on increasing women’s participation in technology and computing.

The NCWIT Summit convenes stakeholders who believe the lack of women studying computing and pursuing careers in technology is a crisis affecting U.S. innovation and workforce competitiveness. Research shows that women hold just 25% of technology occupations, earn only 18% of computer science degrees, and are founders of fewer than 8% of tech startups.

“Getting more women into technology is a game-changer,” said Lucy Sanders, CEO of NCWIT. “There’s increased demand for tech talent and organizations need to capitalize on diversity in fulfilling their business objectives. Women are a vastly untapped source of technical talent and they bring the perspectives of an increasing percentage of the technology consumer market.”

More than 400 representatives from member corporations, colleges and universities, non-profits, and government organizations will attend the NCWIT Summit, which will be live streamed by sponsor member Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. The Summit will address a range of topics related to accelerated recruitment, retention, and advancement of women and minorities:

  • Research on stereotype threat from NYU professor Joshua Aronson
  • Spatial skills, gender, and STEM fields
  • Panel on policy in Washington, D.C. with ITIF founder Dr. Robert Atkinson and assistant secretary of Human Rights for the Department of Education, The Hon. Russlynn H. Ali
  • Collective intelligence and how gender influences group dynamics
  • How job ads can be written to attract more diverse candidates
  • Dr. Shelley Correll on the “motherhood penalty” and gender bias in the workplace
  • Whether women can be “vaccinated” against implicit bias
  • Tips for overcoming bias in tech hiring and promotion practices
  • The “double minority” experience of minority women in tech
  • How reverse mentoring programs at Cisco and IBM have influenced corporate diversity

During the three-day Summit, NCWIT also will host two celebrations: one honors Jessica Jackley, entrepreneur and founder of micro-lending website Kiva.org, with the Symons Innovator Award; the other honors winners of the Illinois Affiliate NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing, which recognizes high school women for their computing aspirations and achievements.

About NCWIT

The National Center for Women & Information Technology is a non-profit community of organizations working to revolutionize the face of technology by increasing women’s participation. NCWIT members learn how and why to recruit, retain, and promote women, from K-12 through college education and from academic to corporate and entrepreneurial careers. Members include organizations such as 4-H, Bank of America, Carnegie Mellon University, Facebook, Girl Scouts of the USA, Google, Harvey Mudd College, Illinois Institute of Technology, Microsoft, Merck, MIT, the National Science Foundation, Ohio State University, Pfizer, Qualcomm, Spelman College, University of California at Santa Cruz, Walmart, and Zynga. Find out more at http://www.ncwit.org.