Workforce

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NCWIT provides these tools in the hopes that you will find them useful as a starting point for your own evaluations. Along with survey questions, there are interview and observation protocols. Some of the survey instruments have been validated in particular settings, and others just field-tested. Ideally, you will hire a professional evaluator to work with you, but when that is not possible, you can move forward with these tools yourself.

By the Numbers Preview

Check out the most compelling statistics on women's participation in computing on a single page.

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Use this guide to help identify common misunderstandings that surface when people talk about how to increase the participation of women.  Learn to spot "red flags" that indicate a particular discussion is headed in a direction that may not be research-based or effective.

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One of NCWIT’s most popular reports has been updated for 2016. See what’s changed and what hasn’t. Women in Tech: The Facts brings together the latest findings from recent research on technical women including the current state of affairs for technical women, a summary of the key barriers to women's participation in technology, promising practices for addressing these barriers, and tools to support your organization's change efforts.

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Whether or not an organization will fully benefit from diversity depends on how its members answer the questions, “What do we do with this diversity? Why do we want a diversified workforce?” Organizations must explicitly address these questions if they are to prevent diversity efforts from backfiring and if they are to reap the oft-touted benefits of better performance and productivity. Three organizational diversity paradigms are presented along with the assumptions and practices, pros, and cons of each.

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Positive leader-member relationships are characterized by exchanges of trust, respect, and low formality. They measurably improve performance, job satisfaction, and commitment.

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By removing time and location constraints, e-mentoring allows women to connect with many more women than face-to-face mentoring permits. It can also promote more open mentor-protégé communication by limiting status differences.

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The décor of physical spaces conveys messages about the kinds of people who belong there and the kinds of activities that should be done there. Understanding this influence allows us to actively craft an environment that makes a broad range of people feel welcome in computing.

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Sexism has measurably harmful effects, but sexist behavior can be minimized. Instructors and supervisors can practice zero tolerance and facilitate positive peer interactions, and they can provide highly visible leadership, policies, and procedures that go beyond legalities to explicitly denounce sexism.

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Releasing the diversity demographics of your technical workforce is important for stimulating open conversation and measuring efforts to increase diversity in your organization. These tips will help you plan the release of this data and take follow-up steps to implement meaningful change efforts toward increasing diversity.

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Developing a diverse workforce must be treated like any other critical business issue. Use this guide to help you collect important data and develop a strategic plan for increasing the meaningful participation of diverse groups in your organization.

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In addition to demonstrating expertise and experience, intentional role models display their strengths and weaknesses and help observers see how they could attain a similar position. Role modeling is less interactive than mentoring, but is often a component of mentoring relationships.

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Paired mentors and protégés exchange advice for career advancement and reduced turnover. Formal mentoring programs may include organized activities that provide a framework for the mentor-protégé relationship and can lead to more rapid career advancement and higher career satisfaction for participants than non-participants.

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Computing offers high quality jobs and is one of the fastest growing occupations in the United States. This resource compares computing to other occupations on quality of life issues such as pay, educational requirements, and work hours, to assist young women and their advisors in deciding whether computing is right for them.

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Research shows that even individuals committed to equality harbor unconscious biases that impact everyday decisions and interactions. In the IT workplace, unconscious gender bias can mislead employers, both male and female, to make inaccurate judgments in hiring, performance reviews, and promotion.

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Significant evidence suggests that diverse work teams produce tangible benefits, including improved innovation, problem-solving, and productivity.

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Encouragement increases self-efficacy, which is the belief in one’s ability to successfully perform a task. Because we are more likely to engage in tasks that we believe we can perform successfully, encouragement may be especially useful for attracting women to male-stereotyped fields such as computing.

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Diverse work teams can improve innovation, problem-solving, and productivity.

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Companies that establish organizational accountability for diversity, whether in the form of full-time diversity staff or a diversity task force, are more likely to increase the representation of women and minorities in management than companies that use only mentoring or diversity training programs. 

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Flexible work arrangements and career paths, along with re-entry training and support, can attract and retain mid-career female employees. 

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