Linda Ott, Professor, Computer Science

Strategies: 

Partner with existing groups (company affinity groups, supervisory groups, local community organizations) to offer opportunities that women weren't aware of and to recruit and advance women into computing fields. This may involve efforts to change the image of computing or improving how the organization celebrates women's technical contributions and accomplishments.

Outreach and programs that target middle and high school girls are important because they engage girls before they lose interest or decide to pursue other fields. Programs such as the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing and Dot Diva provide encouragement, inspiration, and community to young women that can influence career decisions.

Faculty, admissions staff, counselors, parents, mentors, managers, and peers are all powerful influencers of women's decisions to enter or stay in a technical career. Influencing the influencers provides an inflection point for causing them to consider their own biases or perceptions, and helping them encourage more women to pursue technical careers.

Organization Name: 
Michigan Technological University
Organization URL: 
http://www.mtu.edu/cs/

As a Pacesetter, Michigan Technological University is committing to a full-force, multi-pronged approach to achieving our short-term goal of doubling the number of women enrolling in our undergraduate computing programs. We are implementing a summer camp aimed at high school women, developing activities to be used in local and traveling outreach programs, creating materials describing the opportunities available with a degree in Computer Science (CS), a Discover CS day on campus, utilizing alumnae as role models, and collaboration with industry partners interested in expanding the pipeline. In addition, we are working with our admissions staff to ensure they are well-equipped to influence young women to pursue computing careers.