NCWIT MEASURES WOMEN'S PARTICIPATION IN TECHNOLOGY - Release of the NCWIT Scorecard Underscores the Need for Investment in Education

November 5, 2007

The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) today released the NCWIT Scorecard, a research report that measures the participation of girls and women in information technology (IT) and computing. NCWIT created the Scorecard to serve as a benchmark for and increase the visibility of women's participation in IT. The report is available online at http://www.ncwit.org/scorecard, and includes statistics such as these:

  • Girls comprise fewer than 15 percent of all Advanced Placement (AP) computer science exam-takers, the lowest representation of any AP discipline.
  • Between 1983 and 2006, the share of computer science bachelor's degrees awarded to women dropped from 36 to 21 percent.
  • In the U.S. workforce women hold more than half of professional positions overall, but fewer than 22 percent of software engineering positions.
  • Within the top Fortune 500 IT companies, fewer than five percent of Chief Technical Officers are women.

The Scorecard's findings suggest that women's lack of participation in the IT workforce is leaving IT professions with a shrinking pool of qualified professionals. In addition, data in the NCWIT Scorecard imply that women's participation could have a profound impact on innovation and economic competitiveness.



The release of the report coincides with NCWIT's November 6, 2007, workshop on workplace diversity at Microsoft, featuring Microsoft Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie; Curt Coffman, co-author of the New York Times best-seller First, Break All the Rules; and Evelynn Hammonds, Senior Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity at Harvard University.



"Microsoft is an active member of the NCWIT Workforce and Academic Alliances, and provided startup funding for the NCWIT Scorecard," said Microsoft corporate vice president of communication sector and NCWIT board member Martha Bejar. "The company is a leading advocate for building a strong, innovative, and diverse U.S. workforce, and sponsors many initiatives to increase women's participation in information technology."



The NCWIT Scorecard is the only national report that assembles comprehensive metrics on female participation in IT at every level, from K-12 and post-secondary education to faculty and workforce careers. Its metrics were compiled by social scientists using data from premier institutions, including the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the National Center for Education Statistics, the Higher Education Research Institute, the Computing Research Association, and the Commission on Professionals in Science and Technology. It is a free report to be published bi-annually.



"We are extremely grateful to Microsoft for its support, and for its commitment to a future technology workforce that is innovative, competitive, and diverse," said Lucy Sanders, NCWIT CEO and Co-founder. "Our hope is that building awareness of women's participation in IT will lead to programs that encourage more women to consider a career in this field."



NCWIT is a coalition of over 100 prominent corporations, academic institutions, government agencies, and non-profits working to increase women's participation in information technology (IT). Member organizations include Avaya, Bank of America, Catalyst, Cisco, Girl Scouts of the USA, Girls Inc., Georgia Tech, Google, Harvard, HP, Intel, IBM, Kauffman Foundation, Lehman Brothers, MIT, Microsoft, Motorola, National Science Foundation, University of Texas at El Paso, University of Illinois UC, Pfizer, Princeton, Qualcomm, Sally Ride Science, Spelman, Stanford, Sun, University of Colorado, UC Berkeley, UC Irvine, University of Washington, Wal-Mart, and many more. To find out more visit http://www.ncwit.org.