A central focus of my work as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Technology Policy during the late 1990s was preparing American workers—especially scientists, engineers and technologists—for jobs in the new economy. Today, with enormous changes afoot in the world of information technology (IT), preparing Americans to compete and win in the digital economy is even more important—and more challenging—than when I served in government.
ChicTech, an outreach program of the University of Illinois Department of Computer Science, is extending an open invitation for college women to participate in the second annual Games for Girls Programming Competition (G4G).
Every year, NCWIT has two national meetings. Last week (November 17th and 18th), we held our inaugural NCWIT Practices Workshop, coincident with our Alliance meetings, at Carnegie Mellon University. We had most of our meetings in Newell Simon Hall, a beautiful building home to the university's School of Computer Science, packed with computing students and hi-tech gadgets.
I recently had a conversation with a friend who told me her daughter has declared that she hates math -- and she's only seven years old! This got me thinking that the challenge for parents is to help their kids keep an open mind about the subjects they like or don't like. It's really important that parents keep exposing their kids to different things and different opportunities, and make sure that they don't close the door on new ones.
In my role at NCWIT, I have wonderful opportunities to talk to people all over the United States about technology and innovation. As a technologist and innovator myself, I love this part of the job. September brought together several thought processes for me that I am only now finding the time to write about. All concern the impact of information technologies on our global, social, and economic systems, and the role that women must play.
For years, science and technology professionals have tried to bring attention to the lack of gender equity in the important fields of information technology (IT) and computing. Now, ten years after the 1995 Beijing World Conference on Women recognized the need to promote gender equity around the world, the "gender gap" issue finally has arrived on the radar screen of the world's influential opinion-makers.
Recently I spent hours watching HBO's Six Feet Under so I could catch up before the series finale aired. As an Executive Mom, the innovation of "On Demand Television" has definitely enhanced my life. I now have access to hundreds of high-quality, fun, educational programs for my children. Better yet, I'm spending more quality time with my husband. (And it is indeed quality time, because my husband loves to cuddle in front of the television.)
By now we've all seen the devastation that Hurricane Katrina has wrought on hundreds of thousands of people, who are now slowly beginning to recover their broken lives. One recovery effort about which the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) is deeply concerned is the attempt of thousands of college students to get their academic lives back on track.