Community and Visibility

Lori Wilson

Organization Name 
Intel Corporation

At Intel, our Women’s initiative strives to create an environment where women can have meaningful careers as individuals contributors, managers and leaders, and delivers programs to connect, inspire and advance women at Intel.  Our female executives are visible, proactive role models who sponsor emerging female leaders through the Extend Our Reach program.  The Women at Intel Network (WIN) is an employee resource group with 22 chapters located all over the world and plays a key role in development of women by offering monthly webinars, speaker series and hosts an annual conference and bi-annual global virtual conference. Other successful programs include Command Presence Workshop, Women’s Principal Engineer & Fellows Forum.

The Women’s Initiative partners with Intel Foundation supporting initiatives focused on Women & Girls in STEM. She Will is a focused campaign created by Intel to empower girls and women around the world by fostering equal economic and educational opportunities. Intel Corporation is also the founding strategic partner for the 10x10 global action campaign for girl’s education which recently released the feature-length movie Girl Rising.

Other programs we conduct include robotic competitions where we provide mentors for all-girl teams, science competitions that are open to girls in regions throughout the word, and Intel Math which helps supplement mathematics training for teachers who in turn can help students build confidence in their math skills in the critical elementary years.

Charlie McDowell, Associate Dean, Professor

Organization Name 
University of California - Santa Cruz

To reach our Pacesetters goal, the University of California-Santa Cruz will conduct a summer camp for middle school girls, support the Bay Area Affiliate of the NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Award, make regular visits to local area middle and high schools with a “Road Show,” work to improve the “Introduction to Computer Science” course and bring it into alignment with the national “Computer Science: Principles” course, and further develop our overall effort to recruit and retain more 1st year females in CS which we have named, “Project Awesome.” We recognize the importance of working towards goals that will generate long term results and these projects will do so by educating women about how a career in computing can be compatible with their personal goals and interests, introducing alternative programming courses, launching an information brochure, inviting female students to information sessions that also is informative about the nature of a CS major, and hosting social events that will change the image of the CS community.

Natasha Veltri, Assistant Professor

Organization Name 
University of Tampa

The Information & Technology Management department at the University of Tampa offers two majors: Management Information Systems (MIS) accredited by ABET’s Computing Accreditation Commission using the Information Systems criteria and Financial Enterprise Systems (FES). We joined the NCWIT Pacesetters program in January 2013 to use best practices to increase enrollment of females in the MIS program by 50 percent. We are using an in-reach strategy by focusing on female students who are already at the University of Tampa. On campus events introduce students to career opportunities in IT, dispel stereotypes and showcase successful female IT professionals.  Partnerships with local information systems professional associations provide many opportunities for student interaction with the IT community and female role models. Our faculty members and student leaders of the UT Technology Club serve as ambassadors and discuss the MIS major with other students in classes and on campus. Additionally, professors invite female guest speakers to introductory MIS classes and personally encourage female students to pursue career opportunities in the IT field. We hope that these efforts will allow us to spread the word about opportunities in IT field, and identify and provide one-on-one encouragement to students to pursue IT-related majors.

Dori Farah

Dori Farah, Graduate Recruitment Manager

Organization Name 
Syracuse University - School of Information Studies (iSchool)

Our Pacesetters journey began with Syracuse University’s Chancellor Nancy Cantor kicking off the Syracuse University Sit With Me campaign, affirming our commitment to act as an entry point and springboard for women interested in the STEM disciplines. With the Chancellor’s visionary charge, our iSchool Dean, Liz Liddy’s, support, and our countless champions amongst our faculty, staff and –most importantly – students, the iSchool is implementing a number of special initiatives to meet our Pacesetters goal: to increase female enrollment by 15% at the undergraduate B.S. and graduate M.S. degree levels by January 2015.

To build awareness overall, we’ll be continuing the Sit With Me campaign, updating our website, and collaborating with our Women in Information Technology student groups on special campaigns to the campus and community. At the undergraduate level, we are continuing our It Girls Overnight Retreat program – a slumber party meets hack-a-thon designed to engage, inspire, and celebrate high school women and their potential in IT – and the NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Upstate NY Affiliate Award. At the graduate level, we look forward to meeting outstanding graduate school candidates through our sponsorship at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing Conference and on the road at new university graduate school fairs.

Leanne Smullen, VP Marketing

Organization Name 

At SpotXchange, we are committed to recruiting and retaining women in technology.  As a Pacesetter, we have aggressive goals to hire more women engineers, and we’re well on our way to exceeding our Pacesetter goals by 2015.  We're proud to let women know we’re a company that is hiring engineers, and we pay close attention to the number of women we hire.  We host events at our office like Girl Geek Dinners and Women Who Code, to introduce local women to SpotXchange and show them the fun, team-oriented environment we work in every day.  We communicate using social media to let people know that we’re a company that values diversity and that we’re actively seeking the best candidates; we want as many women engineers as possible to be part of our team! 

SpotXchange was a founding member of the NCWIT Entrepreneurial Alliance, and was the first to purchase a red chair in support of the Sit With Me initiative, which was created by members of NCWIT to promote awareness of the importance of having women in technology by taking a seat to take a stand in their iconic Red Chair. Our leadership team at SpotXchange supports women in technology too. Both our CTO and VP of Engineering are committed to the NCWIT and Pacesetter vision, and as a team we're eager to continue an honest and open conversation about challenges and hopes for the future of women in tech.

Read more about the handful of ways SpotXchange leads the way as a startup focused on hiring and retaining technical women:

Josh Ashton

Josh Ashton, Director of People

Organization Name 

SendGrid is a cloud-based email technology company headquartered in Boulder, CO.  We are a proud member of NCWIT, the Entrepreneurial Alliance, and the Pacesetter program.  We are firm believers and champions of changing the ratio of women in computing.

There are a few key areas in which we are trying to move the needle.  First, is increasing our community involvement by championing and participating in various women-in-tech groups such as NCWIT, LadyCoders, Grace Hopper, Girl Geek Dinners, Railsbridge, the Syracuse IT Girls, and Girl Develop IT, amongst others.  Second, we are focusing our efforts internally at SendGrid by educating our employees on the issue, how they can get involved, starting roundtable discussions, and then modifying our office environment, recruiting & hiring processes, and any employment language all to be gender neutral.  Finally, we are encouraging and building a platform for our current employees, specifically our amazing technical women, to share their story, so that the pipeline of future and current technical women stays strong.

As NCWIT leaders say, it’s a marathon not a sprint, but we hope that in our efforts we can help set the pace!

Jennifer Goldman, Director, Recruiting

Organization Name 
Return Path, Inc.

Return Path, Inc. will increase their use of social media including Twitter and Facebook to attract techncial women. We are working on stronger partnerships with local colleges for targeted recruiting, and have recently done extensive surveys to better understand what technical women at Return Path want and need. We've held workshops to increase awareness internally about unconscious biases and communicating out to the broader organization what we are doing as an NCWIT Pacesetters team and our goals for Net New Women.

Linda Ott, Professor, Computer Science

Organization Name 
Michigan Technological University

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.

Cheryl Swanier

Cheryl Swanier, Associate Professor

Organization Name 
Fort Valley State University

At Fort Valley State University, it is our goal to recruit students in computing via First Course Experience and Community Outreach. We have computing faculty to speak to freshmen students, particularly those who are undecided majors about their future aspirations and give a presentation on the interesting things that computer scientists create and are able to achieve, instead of focusing only on programming. This includes introducing the students to websites and mobile applications. In addition, we are working with the local middle school and high school to peak their interest in computing in an effort to create a pipeline from secondary education to higher education in computing. This is being accomplished by providing topic specific workshops such as Introduction to Robotics or Website Development. These workshops are held at FVSU to give students a memorable on-campus experience. We believe sparking the interests of females this way will help the success of our recruitment process.

Lisa Lee

Lisa Lee, Manager, Diversity Recruiting

Organization Name 
Facebook, Inc.
Facebook's Pacesetters goall is largely focused on growing the percentage of our engineering organization's female hires and looking closely at retaining these women. We plan to do this through a variety of means: we have already started to raise awareness with managers and directors about the importance of diversity hiring, specifically around technical women. We are currently building a dedicated team responsible to work with our technical recruiting teams across the business. We are working closely with our communications team to make sure that our brand is inviting to technical women and we are hosting meetups for women at our technical conferences. Through these efforts Facebook expects to raise the percentage of female engineers.



Gloria Townsend

Gloria Townsend, Professor of Computer Science

Organization Name 
DePauw University

DePauw University has set a goal to increase the numbers of graduating computer science majors by leveraging the large minors' pool in two ways.  First, we are expanding the pool by employing a strategy developed in our first-round NCWIT seed grant:  The "content preview", a strategy in which we send an invitation to all first-year women (immediately preceding fall and spring registrations) and offer to teach the concepts necessary to complete the first Computer Science I laboratory.  We work through the laboratory in a just-in-time fashion, using female role-models (who are upper-class student majors) as individual instructors for each small group of first-year women.  Instead of encouraging only majoring in computer science as an outcome of the "content preview" events, we now also stress minoring.  Our second in-reach strategy is to implement targeted recruiting of women who plan to minor in computer science to participate in the many activities we offer for female majors, as encouragement for extending the computer science minor to a major.

DePauw University joins Pacesetters as its first small liberal arts school. Liberal arts institutions provide especially effective climates in which to nurture female students: Undergraduate students receive the kinds of opportunities normally reserved for graduate students at large research universities, and professors maintain close relationships with students in classrooms with very low student-to-faculty ratios. Accordingly, DePauw graduated many female computer science seniors between 1988-2012. A number of programs contribute to DePauw's success of graduating female computer science majors such as, a longstanding ACM-W Chapter, student and faculty attendance at Grace Hopper Celebrations and ACM-W small regional conferences; encouraging women to serve as laboratory and in-class teaching assistants and tutors; and adhering to NCWIT best practices such as student encouragement, stressing that the mind is elastic, and emphasizing the importance of practice. DePauw will continue to implement these programs to ensure the continual success of our computer science women.

Carol Frieze, Director, Women@CS

Organization Name 
Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University aims to sustain the growth in the numbers of women in the undergraduate and graduate CS programs that we’ve witnessed over the past few of years. We hope to maintain the high levels of retention and graduation of women in computing programs at CMU. We will build a social community, offering mentoring and leadership and professional skills opportunities to women and continue to reach out to K-12 STEM educators, families and students through Outreach programs: Roadshows, TechNights, Sci-Tech, CS4HS. We plan to encourage current CS female undergraduate students to reach their full potential by seeing the possibilities of graduate school through “What is Research” panels, the OurCS workshop, Grad/Ugrad sisters. We expect to see more CS undergraduate women in leadership roles such as TA’s, RA’s and freshmen orientation counselors. Through surveys and interviews we will be ale to monitor these specific goals and sustain a culture and environment in which both men and women can thrive. In all these ways we wish to be able to support the valuable role played by Women@SCS in all of the above goals.

Amy Gurley

Amy Gurley, SVP, Global Women in Technology & Operations

Organization Name 
Bank of America

Bank of America has a Pacesetters goal to increase the percentage of women hired into the Technology Analyst and Development Program recruited from US-based colleges and universities.  Bank of America is leveraging the relationship with NCWIT and the Award for Aspirations in Computing.  As the national sponsor of the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing, the bank as provided significant financial and in-kind support that has helped create a robust, prestigious nationwide program.  Over the last two years, the bank has hired some of these award winners as interns and looks forward to supporting their journey into the workforce.

Bank of America is one of the world's largest financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk-management products and services. Bank of America is dedicated to encouraging a diverse, inclusive workplace where all employees have the opportunity to achieve personal success and contribute to the growth of our business. In addition to promoting professional women's development through the employee network LEAD (Leadership, Education, Advocacy and Development) for Women, there are also several line of business advocacy groups. Women in Technology & Operations (WIT&O) is one such group whose mission is to attract, develop and retain female talent in technology and operations at Bank of America by providing a strong community of support and changing the environment to enable women to make a meaningful difference at the company.  The WIT&O program began in 2005 with chapters in New York and Charlotte and has grown steadily to include 15 chapters in five countries.  Global membership has doubled from 1500 to over 3000 in two years.



Scott McCrickard

Scott McCrickard, Associate Professor, School of Computer Science

Organization Name 
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

As an NCWIT Pacesetter, Virginia Tech is providing a positive computing experience for girls in high school by hosting and encouraging applications for the VA/DC Affiliate Aspiration in Computing Award. We have a focus on retention of female students in the CS major through strong support of our Virginia Tech Association for Women in Computing chapter and by offer women numerous scholarships to attend computing-related events with peers including the Grace Hopper and Tapia Conferences. We also continue to see interest in our new "designer minors" that combine CS with other disciplines (ex. business, math, psych, bioinformatics), drawing on populations with higher female/male ratios than engineering. Go Hokies!

Hear Scott tell the Virginia Tech Pacesetters story:

Ed Lazowska

Ed Lazowska, Bill & Melinda Gates Chair in Computer Science & Engineering

Organization Name 
University of Washington

University of Washington Computer Science & Engineering (CSE) created a multi-pronged strategy with the goal of adding "net new" women in computing fields. We targeted female freshman honors students with a new course called "Brave New World: Scientific, Economic and Social Impact of CS". We created popular honors sections in our introductory programming courses with the purpose of engaging smart women and getting some of them to add Computer Science & Engineering to their "might be interested in" list of majors. We coordinated our instructors and support staff to ensure consistent, encouraging communication with students (specifically women) in the Intro the Programming class. Emails sent to high achievers suggested that they consider applying for the major; informational "teas" invited women to network with faculty, students, and staff from the department; and a special women's seminar introduced women to the breadth and depth of CSE by visiting local companies, listening to current student panels, seeing research presentations, and talking about their experiences in the courses.

We also are in the early stages of our traveling road show program, in which CSE graduates and undergraduates visit local middle and high schools to show them exciting applications of computer science. The number of women in the University of Washington CSE is about 4% higher now than when we started; since many of our outreach programs target students early in the pipeline, we hope to continue to see our numbers increase over the next few years.

Hear Ed tell the University of Washington Pacesetters story:

Adrienne Harrell

Adrienne Harrell, Director of Undergraduate Student Affairs

Organization Name 
University of California - Santa Cruz

Over the last 18 months, the number of women majoring in computer science at the University of California at Santa Cruz (UCSC) has increased by 40%. Faculty and staff at the Jack Baskin School of Engineering (JBSOE) have introduced a number of initiatives to encourage greater participation of women in computing on campus.

We are reaching out to middle school girls with a summer camp called "Girls in Engineering", which focuses computer science and engineering. Through our participation in the Bay Area Affiliate of the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing, we are encouraging high-school-age young women to pursue computing and establishing UCSC as a women-friendly place to study computing. An outreach "road show" is designed to influence more young women to consider computer science as a college option.

Our NSF-funded scholarship program targets financially disadvantaged students, especially women, and includes a unique live-and-learn community and shared curriculum in the first year. We also are reaching out to women already at UCSC through the redesign of an entry-level course and an advertising campaign we call "Project Awesome." Project Awesome is an aggressive "in-reach" program targeting first- and second-year women with brochures mailed to their homes, welcome events on campus, and a website ( that provides encouragement and incentive to study computing.

Hear Adrienne tell the University of California Santa Cruz Pacesetters story:

Dalene King

Dalene King, Senior Diversity & Inclusion Program Manager

Organization Name 

At Microsoft, we believe a diverse workforce is key to driving continued innovation. Through cultivating an inclusive environment, we strive to capitalize on the ideas and perspectives of our talent to create the most innovative products, best business solutions, and ideal services for our global customers. As part of this commitment, Microsoft embarked on a partnership with the NCWIT to grow the number of women in computing technology in the industry.

Our approach focuses on three internal programs with the goal of increasing our overall representation. The first program supports the movement of college students into the industry through internships starting at the freshman and sophomore level. The second builds upon our current on-boarding programs by connecting new female hires to others in the company who help support their success at Microsoft. The third program centers on creating a global women’s community at Microsoft for women who deliver technical services and support to customers in the field. Over the last year, this third program focused on raising the visibility of the contributions these technical women provide to Microsoft and the industry, ultimately enhancing their own career advancement and showcasing them as role models for others.

Hear Dalene tell the Microsoft Pacesetters story:

Jessica Murillo

Jessica Murillo, Software Engineering Director, Systems & Technology Group

Organization Name 

IBM has a long-standing focus on innovation and we believe diversity is a competitive advantage. At IBM we leverage our differences to create innovations that matter and drive the best results for our clients.

Our Technical Women's Pipeline Program is a career framework and networking community for our technical innovators that support women's growth and advancement. As part of the Technical Women's Pipeline Program IBM assigns each participant a long-term technical role model and an executive sponsor, who actively coach and mentor her to be an innovator. IBM creates a set of targeted activities and learning opportunities tailored to each participant. These include creating an annual actionable development plan with measurable goals, and developing a promotion package to ensure the candidate continues to progress in her career. Participants receive a career roadmap tailored for their specific needs, and have opportunities for visibility and development through temporary assignments, job shadowing, and other experiential learning opportunities. Regular checkpoints between the IBM employee, her coach, her executive sponsor, and her manager keep the team focused on her development and progress.

Hear Jessica tell the IBM Pacesetters story:

Gabriela Marcu

Gabriela Marcu, Ph.D. Student, Human Computer Interaction

Organization Name 
Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University has a renowned history for recruiting women to its computer science programs and has achieved its Pacesetters goals in part by working with the strong, visible community of women (Women@SCS) already active in the Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science. This year we've seen a growth spurt in enrollment of women in CS majors and a steady demand for our outreach programs.

In response to participating in Pacesetters, Dr. Carol Frieze, Director of Women@SCS, built an advisory team of CMU faculty, headed by the Dean, to review current and future diversity programs. Our approach has been two-fold. First, we have fostered an on-campus community that includes mentoring programs, connects women across all levels and departments, and offers professional development workshops and invited speakers. All of these activities support our retention efforts and sharpen students' professional skills. Second, our outreach programs are helping to spread the word about computing, broaden the image of who can do computing, and engage teachers and students in computational concepts and hands-on activities.

Hear Gabriela tell the Carnegie Mellon University Pacesetters story:

Ignatios Vakalis

Ignatios Vakalis, Chair, Department of Computer Science

Organization Name 
California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

At Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, students in computer science and software engineering expressed interest in learning more technologies in context and application, beginning very early in their major. In 2010 we revised our first-year course selections, so that now students can choose a flavor from a menu of an introductory computing course. Current flavors include:  Game Design, Mobile App Development, Robotics, Music Composition, and Computational Art. We are working on adding: Cybersecurity and Data Analytics. These courses reflect the evolution of computing instruction by giving students choices in their introductory class, teaching "algorithmic thinking," using context to draw students in and keep their interest, and implementing project-based learning in a group environment. Initial results show that this approach has been especially popular and effective with female students.

Cal Poly also has emphasized opportunities for women in computing to develop visibility for themselves and the field. Our Computer Science Department promotes the women in computing student club, runs a speaker series, and established a mentoring mechanism for female students. The department provides outstanding support to female students for attending and participating the annual Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference (32 female students attended and Grace Hopper conference in Oct 2013; a record number for a public University). The department has successfully hosted three “NCWIT Awards for Aspirations in Computing” for high school girls and will continue this commitment.  Our recruitment efforts have been substantially enhanced with the dedicated efforts of our female majors who are visiting their former high schools, using NCWIT road show materials, to ignite the passion of prospective female students.

Hear Ignatios share the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Pacesetters story: