NCWIT Supports STEM Mentoring Initiative “Million Women Mentors”

January 21, 2014

Partnership Seeks to Engage More Than One Million Girls & Young Women in STEM Education and Careers

NCWIT announced its strategic partnership of the “Million Women Mentors” (MWM) initiative. The initiative supports the engagement of one million science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) mentors – male and female – to increase the interest and confidence of girls and young women to pursue and succeed in STEM degrees and careers.

The current facts and figures related to women and IT is the basis of launching initiatives like MWM. While more than half of the undergraduate degree recipients in 2011 were female, only 18 percent of Computer and Information Sciences undergraduate degree recipients in 2011 were female. Additionally, while 57 percent of professional occupations in the 2012 U.S. workforce were held by women, only 26 percent of professional computing occupations in the 2012 U.S. workforce were held by women. (Find more statistics on women and IT here.)

“At a time when girls’ and women’s participation in the technical workforce is far less than 50 percent, mentoring is most critical,” said Lucy Sanders, CEO and Co-founder of NCWIT. “Mentoring can provide the necessary encouragement to help girls and women persist in STEM and bridge this gap.”

In support of National Mentoring Month and ongoing efforts to inspire more girls to pursue computing, NCWIT’s AspireIT program is accepting grant proposals for the 2014 grant cycle. AspireIT is a technology outreach program for girls at the middle school level supported by Intel, Northrop Grumman, and Google. The program capitalizes on a “near-peer” approach, giving middle school girls an inspiring, hands-on introduction to computing from high school and college women. Middle school girls learn programming, game design, robotics, and more at tech-related camps, clubs, and workshops hosted by K-12 organizations and higher education institutions. Find out more about NCWIT AspireIT.

In an effort to amplify the impact of AspireIT, NCWIT launched a fundraising campaign to support 30 sites and serve an additional 1,000 middle school girls through NCWIT AspireIT programs in 2014. Donation options begin at $10 and support a range of program components including toolkits, participant stipends, and goodie bags. Google has generously agreed to match donations up to $150,000.

“Young women sharing their excitement about technology with younger girls is a win-win!” said Ruthe Farmer, Director of Strategic Initiatives of NCWIT. “Young women get the opportunity to 'pay it forward' as technical program leaders, while the middle school girls learn about tech skills from a near-peer role model.”

More information about the AspireIT fundraising campaign is available at http://bit.ly/AspireIT.

 

About Million Women Mentors®(MWM):

Million Women Mentors®(MWM) is a collective national campaign and program with the purpose of captivating one million mentors to link with one million girls and young professionals for their STEM careers. Through its efforts MWM works to showcase existing best practice and suggestions for the future. Utilizing a technology portal built in three phases and developed in collaboration with Tata Consultancy Services, MWM technology will enable mentor services for the nation. The MWM website and program will launch January 8, 2014. The program is a collective effort of founding partners including 35 non-profits and major corporations and will also reach government agencies. MWM is an initiative of STEMconnector®, a company which works closely with corporations and other organizations to assist in corporate development, corporate structure and smart STEM investments. Find out more at https://www.millionwomenmentors.org.

About STEMconnector®:

STEMconnector® is THE information resource and source of best practices – The one-stop for Who’s Doing What in STEM Education and STEM jobs. STEMconnector®’s web site contains 6,500 profiles of stakeholders in STEM Education. STEMconnector® purpose is to map STEM activity of organizations, government, private sector, education, associations, diversity and women. STEMconnector® overall works through collaboration with its members and partners. Members are in all sectors. STEM Council meetings are offered three times a year to members and these are business, government, education and non-profits. Find out more at http://stemconnector.org/

About NCWIT:

The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) is a non-profit community of more than 500 universities, companies, non-profits, and government organizations nationwide working to increase women’s participation in computing and technology. NCWIT helps organizations more effectively recruit, retain, and advance girls and women in K-12 through college education, and from academic to corporate and startup careers. Find out more at http://www.ncwit.org.