Pacesetters Program

NCWIT Pacesetters is a unique, fast-track program in which committed corporate, entrepreneurial, and academic leaders work across organizational boundaries to accelerate change that improves the meaningful participation of technical women, both within their own organizations and nationally. Pacesetters use disruptive, innovative approaches to achieve measurable, two-year goals related to challenging stereotypes, releasing diversity data, and more.

View advice, insights, and inspiration from more than two dozen Pacesetters in this series of videos.

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Setting the Pace for Impact

Together, NCWIT Pacesetters have added more than 3,000 women to the U.S. computing talent pool and have also seen results* within their own organizations:

  • A company doubled the number of female engineering interns.
  • Another tech company piloted a highly successful leadership workshop for more than 100 mid-career female technologists.
  • A university significantly increased female enrollment in its existing undergraduate computing degree programs.
  • Another university established a new CS degree that is attracting double majors in neuroscience, economics, film, and more.

* Individual organizational goals are held confidential.

Innovative Ideas

  • The 2016 cohort seeks to understand the context in which bias occurs in everyday workplace and classroom scenarios. They will lead focused discussions and implement pilot projects, using research-based responses from the “Bias Busting Toolkit.”
  • In 2014, Pacesetters led a “Transforming Technical Job Ads” trial to leverage their university-corporate partnerships by co-writing inclusive job ads to attract a more diverse technical talent pool.
  • In 2010, Pacesetters influenced the inception of Sit With Me, a fun, creative national advocacy campaign that uses an iconic red chair to symbolize the critical need for women’s technical contributions.

Benefits of Participation

While Pacesetter organizations are increasing the inclusiveness of their cultures in a structured setting that holds them accountable, they also receive extensive support and benefits, including:

  • support in gaining executive-level buy in
  • assistance in goal setting and progress reporting
  • access to social science expertise
  • practical, research-based recommendations and approaches for recruitment and retention of women in computing degree programs and careers
  • learning opportunities corporate, entrepreneurial, and academic organizations
  • external recognition for commitment to diversity and inclusion in technology innovation

For further information, contact Program Director Jill Reckie.


People Involved: 

Jill Reckie

Program Director

Members Involved