Why Should Young Women Consider a Career in Information Technology?

This card gives adults talking points and additional resources for a conversation with their daughters and/or other young people. The main message is that IT offers meaningful work, security and high salaries with a bachelor’s degree, and flexibility and variety. Information is provided to address these specific questions: What should you tell a young woman about a career in IT? How can a young woman prepare now for a career in IT?

In this video, Lecia Barker (National Center for Women in Information Technology) discusses research on best practices for outreach to young women and minority students. Lecia looks at the research evidence underlying the choices you need to make when doing a roadshow presentation, specifically why you choose the messages and the activities that you choose.

Computer Science-in-a-Box

Computer Science-in-a-Box: Unplug Your Curriculum introduces fundamental building blocks of computer science -- without using computers. Use it with students ages 9 to 14 to teach lessons about how computers work, while addressing critical mathematics and science concepts such as number systems, algorithms, and manipulating variables and logic. NCWIT is pleased to offer Computer Science-in-a-Box: Unplug Your Curriculum in cooperation with the authors of Computer Science Unplugged. So unplug your computer, and get ready to explore computer science!

How Can You Re-Engineer Your Undergraduate Program to Increase Women's Representation in Computing? Small Steps Toward Systemic Change (Case Study 1)

The socio-educational system a student experiences shapes participation in the major. Altering one element of that system is often not enough to create enduring change. When faculty members are ready to implement organizational innovation, success is more likely if they receive support from institutional leaders, have access to adequate resources, and are able to participate in decision-making about the change.

How Do Stereotype Threats Affect Retention? Better Approaches to Well-Intentioned, but Harmful Messages (Case Study 1)

Stereotype threat harms both performance and motivation by reducing our feelings of competence, belonging, and trust in our colleagues. However, careful thought, education, and regular assessment of diversity practices can help minimize incidents of stereotype threat. Examples show how instructors and advisors can minimize stereotype threat by creating an accepting environment where students feel at ease and are recognized for their achievements. In addition, student test scores improve and gender gaps are eliminated when students are taught that intelligence increases through effort.

How Can Organizations Recruit Diverse Talent in Ways that Promote Innovation and Productivity? Interview Strategies that Identify Functionally Diverse Perspectives (Case Study 1)

Significant evidence suggests that diverse work teams produce tangible benefits, including improved innovation, problem-solving, and productivity. Some of this research also illustrates how teams of diverse agents produce better results than teams of “highest-ability” agents. Companies can implement interview strategies that identify candidates with functionally diverse perspectives likely to improve innovation and productivity.

International Women's Day-in-a-Box

International Women's Day-in-a-Box: Raising Awareness, Igniting Change is designed to help IT companies and departments celebrate successes and address barriers to women's full participation in IT, and capitalize on women's innovative thinking and leadership potential. If your organization is eager to promote diversity in order to become globally competitive, then International Women's Day-in-a-Box is for you. Use this resource to plan company activities and events, and to establish a culture and expectation for broader diversity of thought in IT.

Entrepreneurial Series Report #5 summarizes research literature on women's entrepreneurship in the information technology field with a focus on social science research.

How Do Admissions Criteria Affect Women's Representation in Graduate Computing? Attempts to Equalize a Subjective Process (Case Study 1)

When admission committee members minimize the biasing effects of stereotypes and consider applicants’ membership in an under-represented group as a positive characteristic, they promote diversity. By looking carefully at women and considering their life experiences, University of California, San Diego and University of California, Berkeley admit more women students than their peer institutions.

How Can Organizations Reap the Benefits of a Diverse Workforce? Assessing the Organization's Diversity Paradigm Career

Whether or not an organization will fully benefit from diversity depends on how its members answer the questions, “What do we do with this diversity? Why do we want a diversified workforce?” Organizations must explicitly address these questions if they are to prevent diversity efforts from backfiring and if they are to reap the oft-touted benefits of better performance and productivity. Three organizational diversity paradigms are presented along with the assumptions and practices, pros, and cons of each.

How Do You Support Completion of Graduate Degrees and Engender Commitment to a Research Career? Advisor as Steward of the Discipline (Case Study 1)

Students most likely to complete their graduate studies are those who are viewed as junior colleagues in a positive relationship with their advisors and who are well integrated into their department’s or lab’s intellectual community. Where one woman graduate student finds support and guidance from her advisor, another is stifled by her advisor’s inconsistent and inappropriate behavior. Systems of accountability, together with trained and caring advisors, increase the chances that doctoral students will successfully navigate the path to research careers.

The Culture of Open Source Computing

As a first step toward learning more about OSS culture and women’s participation in it, this annotated bibliography briefly describes current research organized into five topics: Gender Dimensions, Entry & Internal Advancement, Knowledge Acquisition, Membership and Organization, and Motivations & Intentions to Participate. This bibliography identifies pertinent articles and offers a brief summary of what are, in many cases, extensive research findings, only two of which focus on gender and OSS. The original publications should be consulted for full details.