NATIONAL CENTER FOR WOMEN & INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND MERCK JOIN TO ENHANCE HEALTHCARE INNOVATION THROUGH A MORE DIVERSE IT WORKFORCE

November 18, 2010

$1 Million Grant From Merck Will Support Efforts

The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) today announced that it has received a four-year, $1 million contribution from Merck, a global healthcare leader working to help the world be well.

The contribution reflects Merck’s support of NCWIT and its work to increase the number of women who choose careers in information technology and computing. The partnership between Merck and NCWIT will focus initially on raising awareness among K-12 school counselors, who advise on professional careers, about how they can help to recruit more young people into computing and technical occupations. 

“The intersection of healthcare and technology is one of the ways Merck makes a difference in people’s lives,” said J. Chris Scalet, executive vice president, Global Services and chief information officer, Merck. “Increasing the diversity of our IT workforce allows us to develop innovative health solutions to help more people, more effectively.”

According to Department of Labor projections, computing-related jobs and healthcare jobs are among the fastest-growing occupations, yet the United States risks a shortage of qualified people to fill these jobs. Women currently earn more than half of all undergraduate degrees in biology but only 18 percent of degrees in computing.

“Women are a vast and exceptional talent pool for health technology jobs,” said NCWIT CEO Lucy Sanders. “As a leader in innovation and healthcare IT, Merck’s support reflects a powerful commitment to building a diverse future workforce that can provide solutions for some of the world’s most challenging problems.”

In addition to today's announcement, George Llado, vice president of Merck Manufacturing Division – Information Technology, will join the NCWIT board of directors and Chris Scalet, executive vice president and chief information officer at Merck, has been named to the NCWIT Executive Advisory Council.

About Merck

Today's Merck is a global healthcare leader working to help the world be well.  Merck is known as MSD outside the United States and Canada.  Through our prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, and consumer care and animal health products, we work with customers and operate in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health solutions.  We also demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to healthcare through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. For more information, visit http://www.merck.com.

About the National Center for Women & Information Technology

The National Center for Women & Information Technology is a coalition of over 250 prominent corporations, academic institutions, government agencies, and non-profits working to increase women's participation in information technology. Find out more at http://www.ncwit.org.