November 15, 2006

(BUSINESS WIRE)--When the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) asked its members how to help them accelerate their progress in attracting, retaining, and advancing women in information technology (IT), its members were clear: give us more best practices, ones we can actually use.

On November 15, at its biannual meetings at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, NCWIT will pilot "Programs-in-a-Box" – a set of free, turnkey resources created for educators, administrators, and industry professionals to use at their home institutions. The pilot Programs-in-a-Box include best-practices-based resources for outreach to K-12 students, industry workplace mentoring, and surveying undergraduate students on their experience with computer science as a major.

"We wanted to give our members the tools to become change agents within their organizations," says NCWIT CEO Lucy Sanders. "These Programs-in-a-Box are designed to be easy, 'no-excuses' resources that anyone can download, print, and implement."

Each of the Programs-in-a-Box is designed for practical use and supplies all the necessary components: users simply download a Box from the NCWIT website, "unpack" it, and customize the materials for local use. Programs-in-a-Box materials include templates, presentations, survey instructions, samples, and other resources.

NCWIT works to increase women's participation in IT by building a national community of member practitioners, emphasizing the importance of diversity in IT, and targeting opportunities to increase America's competitive and innovative workforce. Its development of best practices is based on social science research that identifies the most proven, effective methods for attracting, retaining, and advancing women in IT fields.

NCWIT member institutions include: Avaya, Bank of America, Catalyst, Carnegie Mellon, Cisco, Girl Scouts of the USA, Girls Inc., Georgia Tech, Google, Harvard, HP, Intel, IBM, Lehman Brothers, MIT, Microsoft, Motorola, the National Science Foundation, University of Texas at El Paso, Pfizer, Princeton, Sally Ride Science, Spelman, Stanford, Sun, UC Berkeley, UC Irvine, Wal-Mart, and many more. For more information about NCWIT, please visit