On September 16, 2010, NCWIT’s Policy and Media representative in Washington, The Honorable Paula Stern, attended President Barack Obama’s speech delivered at the White House, which gathered business and industry leaders from Xerox, Kodak, Exxon Mobil, Intel, Proctor & Gamble; students and educators; members of Congress; top scientists in the Obama administration; and two iconic female astronauts, Sally Ride and Mae Jemison.
SUNY Oswego reported this week that it had received a $200,000 “catalyst” grant from the National Science Foundation to study the status of women faculty in the sciences. The grant aims to look at whether policies or practices at the school are preventing women in STEM from being recruited, promoted, and retained. Although the percentage of women STEM faculty increased at SUNY Oswego from 24% in 2007 to 28% in 2009, for example, there are currently no women full professors in STEM departments.
NPR recently spotlighted results from a Nielsen Co. evaluation of 60,000 wireless customers’ bills, and the results are fascinating. Those of you who attended the NCWIT May 2010 Summit breakout by Shireen Mitchell (founder of Digital Sista) will recognize a correlation with the statistics she cited. Here are some examples:
Computer Science I (CS1) is the first class that incoming students take at DePauw University, creating a key opportunity to recruit female computer science (CS) majors. Our NCWIT Academic Alliance Seed Fund project, "Leveling the CS1 Playing Field," uses a unique early intervention approach to increase the number of female CS majors.
In Spring 2007 the Department of Computer Science at the University of Pennsylvania, with the support of NCWIT, began Women in Computer Science (WICS) High School Day to introduce girls to computer science and to get them excited about the field. In 2009, 85 high school girls from 25 different schools attended WICS High School day to meet with Penn faculty and students, tour labs, attend a CS class, and learn more about the opportunities presented to those
For the second year in a row, Virginia Tech has invited high school computing teachers in Virginia to come visit us for professional development, idea sharing, and networking. This year funding from NCWIT and Microsoft supported the event.
This week Forbes published a terrific article on serial entrepreneurs featuring profiles of several (technical) women. Instead of taking a gendered lens, however, the author focuses on the qualities that ALL serial entrepreneurs must have in common: tenacity, passion, love for new challenges, and a willingness to take risks.
From the BBC this week we hear that the number of UK students choosing to take the GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) had fallen 33% over the last three years.
Hello from the Emerging Scholars Program (ESP) at Columbia University! ESP is a peer-led workshop designed to encourage talented students to stay in the CS major after introductory classes. The goal of ESP is to show students that CS is necessarily a collaborative activity and that it involves much more than just programming. ESP's target audience includes students enrolled in Introduction to Computer Science classes who have not yet declared a major, but are contemplating CS.