2013 NCWIT Summit - State of NCWIT

August 14, 2013


Bobby Schnabel:  I'm Bobby Schnabel and on behalf of my fellow co‑founders of NCWIT, Lucy Sanders who's the CEO of NCWIT and Telle Whitney who's the CEO of the Anita Borg Institute. It's a delight to welcome you back to the second day of the Summit. I would like to believe that I can actually see you, but with these lights in my eyes, I can't do that.

Let me remind you that we're being both streamed live and recorded by Turner Broadcast. We are very grateful to Turner. They're one of the generous supporters of NCWIT. Let me also remind all the speakers that as opposed to the Academy Awards, there is no half‑second delay in bleeping going on here, so you actually have to watch what you're saying.

Speaking of the sponsors of NCWIT, we'll have an opportunity at the latter part of the session to hear from one of our generous sponsors. The longest standing supporter and funder of NCWIT is the National Science Foundation.

I had the opportunity, last week, to see the head computing director to the National Science Foundation, Farnam Jahanian. He asked, specifically, if I would convey his support and greetings to this meeting. Farnam and NSF, in general, are great supporters of NCWIT and we're very grateful for that.

Now, a couple of people who many of you people know well, John Queeny and Jeff Forbes from NSF, are here and you'll have time to hear from them both today as well.

The good news of this session is that I'm just the moderator. Most of your time will be spent listening to people who are far more interesting than I am. I'm just going to make a couple of introductory slide remarks first, but let me ask a question before that as we go on to talk about NCWIT.

How many of you are here for the first time? Great. You definitely should listen.


Bobby:  But for the other people, this is a little different than the airlines. It's not the same speech every time, so you might as well. The National Center for Women In IT's mission is to significantly increase girl's and women's meaningful participation in computing. It does this through the three approaches that are seen there in the circles.

The first of them is the learning communities, and you are the learning communities. The learning communities are the alliances that we'll scan through, briefly, on the next slide. One of the amazing pieces of progress is that the number of organizations involved in these communities has increased from 300 a year ago, to about 450 this year.

The second one of those is evidence and evidence is the basis of what NCWIT does. NCWIT's programs are based on research‑based evidence. NCWIT has become known for forming the publications. Many of them are out there. You have out there the Male Advocates and Allies Publication, which NCWIT not only produced but actually supported the research that did the "Ten Ways to Recruit Women Into Your Computing Classes" and many others are examples of that.

NCWIT also cut over a new website almost a year ago which made it considerably easier to find those resources.

The third of those is action and my new categorization for what that consists of is the Three P's, Policy, Programs, and Publicity. Those are things that NCWIT's engaged in. Let me just give you a couple of examples of that. One, of course, the biggest program that NCWIT has started to lead is the Aspirations Program.

Aspirations this year grew to 54 regional programs and you are the people who are responsible for that. Thank you to everybody who's played a role in those Aspirations Programs.

As one other example later today, there's a couple of different opportunities to hear about things that are going on in K‑12 Education. There's a workshop session repeated a couple times about CS‑10K. You'll get to hear about, from Hadi Partovi, Code.org.

The good thing is that NCWIT, by the prominence it's achieved, is a partner in all those conversations. What that means is that the issues that we're interested in ‑‑ those diversity issues ‑‑ are front and center in those conversations from the start. Those are the three parts of NCWIT.

The other thing I'll do to start off is just remind you of the parts of those learning communities. There are six of them. Just a couple sentences on each. The K‑12 Alliances are concerned with both the image and the content of computing at the K‑12 level. It's had a very big role in that Aspirations Program, which is not only awarding people, but also creating a pipeline.

In fact, I thought we might take a moment to ask everybody who's in the audience, who has been or is an Aspirations Winner to stand up.


Bobby:  There's more here. I think some of them are getting a little sleep in preference to this session.


Bobby:  The Academic Alliance is the group of change leaders in higher education. One of the key things of the Academic Alliance is doing at this meeting is working much more on the involvement of community colleges in the Academic Alliance and in the activities of NCWIT.

Similarly, the Workforce Alliance works at change at the corporate level, and it was a major activity, a multi‑year activity, of the Workforce Alliance to lead to the production of this male advocates' report, which is a very important one.

The next two are newer ones. The Entrepreneurial Alliance is something that we started just in the last few years. It's a way to get young companies to think about and incorporate diversity in what they're doing from the outset. That alliance has grown to about 80 members in the last year. That's a significant growth.

The Affinity Group Alliance is a younger one of Women in Computing and other affinity groups, and it's working on how it works with the Stick with Me Campaign, with the Aspirations Awards, and other things. Finally, the Social Science Advisory Board really is what keeps NCWIT honest and on research principles.

This is a group we've had from the start of distinguished social scientists, I see some of them in the audience this morning already, who meet and help us make sure that everything we do is based on solid social science principles.

What we're going to do for the rest of this session is hear from speakers who represent a snapshot of each of these three parts ‑‑ the learning communities, the evidence, and the action parts of NCWIT. Then have a special presentation from Microsoft.

The first of those three, I'm going to invite Scott McCrickard and Tommy Thompson together. Just let me get brief intros to each of them. Scott is an associate professor of computer science at Virginia Tech. His research areas include notification systems, design methods for interfaces, peripheral and secondary displays in interfaces for mobile computing devices.

Scott's been really active in diversity issues for his entire career. He chairs the Computer Science at Virginia Tech Diversity Committee and received the NCWIT Research Mentoring Award for his work with women and minority undergraduate students last year.

Tommy is the director of IT at AT&T. He's responsible for leading Matrix, which is AT&T's college new hire and intern development program. Previously, he managed the N10 delivery of AT&T's mobility and U‑verse products. AT&T is NCWIT's newest investment partner. I'd like to also take this opportunity to thank AT&T and Tommy for that.


Scott McCrickard:  Good morning, everybody. I helped to select this undergraduate research mentoring award with a long, long list of other people. The good thing about only having a couple of minutes is I can't even try to list them all, because I know I would forget some. We're going to get to hear from them at the Academic Alliance meeting, for those of you who are going to that.

But for today I would like to announce those awards, if we can pop up the next slide. A bit about the award first. This is the second year that we've selected it and the first year that AT&T has very generously supported it. The award recognizes people at various levels for their support of undergraduate research.

Undergraduate research is something that is generally not the primary focus of any one faculty member, but it's obviously very, very important. It helps to get people into the pipeline, particularly get women into the pipeline, and we would like to recognize people who have taken their time to make that happen.

We've selected four awards, both at the junior level and senior level of full professors for one award and assistant and associate professors for the other. We have selected awards at the PhD‑granting institutions as well as BS/MS schools. Without any further ado, I'd like for the four award winners to stand up here.

First is Margaret...I knew I'd get this wrong. Margaret Martonosi from Princeton University. As soon as she told me that her name was easy to pronounce. I knew I'd get that wrong. Anne Ngu from Texas State University, Fay Cobb Payton from North Carolina State University, and Cheryl Swanier from Fort Valley State University. I assume you're standing up.


Scott:  I'm going to turn over it to Tommy to talk a bit about their support.

Tommy Simpson:  Thanks, Scott. As AT&T, we're just glad and thankful to be partnering with NCWIT and partnering with the committee that Scott's headed up to select these winners. One change we did want to announce today is a $5,000 reward that will be made to each of the 2013 winners. We will be granting...


Tommy:  We will be granting that money to the university in their name for them to use as they see fit to further their efforts. Another thing that we did want to announce is that, since this program or this award just began last year, we also want to do the same thing for the 2012 winners.

That will include Scott McCrickard, here to my left, from Virginia Tech, Juan Gilbert from Clemson University, Diana Franklin from the University of California at Santa Barbara, and Mingrui Zhang from Winona State. If you guys are here, please stand up as well. We just want to remember and thank you again for what you've done last year.


Tommy:  With all that, thanks to the award winners this year. Scott, congratulations as well. Thanks for your hard work. Thanks, guys.


Bobby:  Thanks, Scott and Tommy. By the way, in the true spirit of reality TV, Scott did not know that that was coming.


Bobby:  The next thing we're going to do is turn to a speaker about a new NCWIT resource. Just a minute, first about NCWIT resources in general, as I said before, this is really something that's become the hallmark of NCWIT, producing high quality resources that can be used at a lot of levels.

I can go through them in great detail, but actually, if you want to know about the new resources that's somewhere in your programs. There are a really nice couple of pages that details at least a number of them. We've mentioned some of them.

They range from at K‑12 level advice on how to encourage girls to take high school classes at the university level, and actually all levels, understanding stereotype threats. You can use that in all of the places where that's pertinent. At the corporate level, we've mentioned the Male Influencers. The "who patents" is another great example of that.

With that, it's a pleasure now to turn to Dr. Elsa Macias. Elsa consults on research and policy projects that focused on increasing excellence and equity and education for women. She previously was at the University of Southern California where she focused on database decision making and higher education.

Dr. Macias has briefed elected officials at the federal, state, local levels. Her research has been funded by many funding agencies including the National Science Foundation, the Kellogg Foundation, and the Department of Commerce. She's going to talk, as you can see there, about the Latina Computing Microsite. So Elsa...


Dr. Elsa Macias:  Good morning. Let's see where I can do this. I've been very excited to be working with NCWIT on the Latina Computing Microsite. It's a project of the K‑12 Alliance who wanted to make sure that all of the NCWIT's mission, and all its valuable resources were available to all girls.

The Latina Computing Microsite is a multimedia site. It's got Spanish language content that will raise awareness about the opportunities for Latina girls in the field of computing. It's also hopefully going to increase their meaningful participation in computing and IT. The audience for this microsite is Spanish speaking girls in the US and Puerto Rico and also their parent, their families, the influencers of these people.

We were guided by an advisory board who provided oversight for the messaging, reviewed the translations, connected NCWIT with Latinas who are good role models for this website. Then we also looked to our board members to help us disseminate the microsite within their networks. I wanted to also say that we are especially grateful to Motorola Solutions Foundation for graciously funding this project.

Here is a screenshot of the microsite. As you can see on the left there, it features K‑12 outreach materials that are translated into Spanish. Some of the main features include resources such as our Talking Points card, "Which computing pathway is right for me?" You can see that there are links with many more helpful resources.

I'm not sure how well you can see it, but I assure that it is all in Spanish. It's got a lot of resources already there.

You can also see that on the right, in the center of the screen there, we have profiles for Latina role models. For instance, we have Vanessa Aponte who is an aerospace engineer at Lockheed Martin Space Systems and Anamary Leal who is a computer science doctoral student at Virginia Tech.

We selected profiles and videos that we felt would convey important messages about computing as an exciting, lucrative, stable, and very creative career field. This microsite will launch this summer. We'll look to each of the alliances for your help in distributing this information and getting it to the right audiences.

For example, the K‑12 Alliance could leverage its membership of national girls serving organizations and professional educator associations, academic institutions, and businesses to reach Spanish speaking girls and their influencers. The Entrepreneurial Alliance could provide national visibility among its robust membership of industry professionals.

We're also looking to the Workforce Alliance to help us connect Latinas who have budding interest in computing to industry and academic experts who might serve as mentors and conduits to internships. The Affinity Group Alliance could assist our outreach and awareness efforts in many different ways as well.

Look for an announcement this summer and start to think now about ways that you can help us to disseminate this valuable resource. Muchas gracias.


Bobby:  Thanks very much, Elsa, and thanks to everybody who is involved in creating this really valuable resource for NCWIT and for girls and women in computing.

We'll now switch to the action part of the NCWIT Triad. It's my pleasure to introduce Lee Wills‑Irvine. Lee is the global head of Diversity and Inclusion at Qualcomm. There, she oversees employee training to ensure that diversity is woven throughout Qualcomm. She helped design and manage Qualcomm's women's mentoring program, and was instrumental in the development of the Athena‑San Diego Mentoring Program.

Lee's been recognized quite a bit for this work, including being a recipient of the Women Who Mean Business Award from the San Diego Business Journal, and recently recognized with the President's Special Diversity Award by the Urban League of San Diego County.

By the way, Qualcomm is a NCWIT Pacesetter itself, and a member of the Workforce Alliance, and so we thank you for that as well.


Lee Wills Irvine:  Thanks, Bobby, and good morning to everyone. What is Pacesetters? You've heard a little bit about it. It was an initiative that was started by NCWIT in 2011. The entire goal of pacesetters is to increase the number of technical women in industry and universities, so our pipeline and our current level of women.

Qualcomm is proud to be a national sponsor of Pacesetters, along with Google and the National Science Foundation. There are two really important elements to the Pacesetters Initiative. One is the overall engagement of the companies, and not just the companies, but particular leadership, so there are action‑oriented programs, but there are also senior leaders who are engaged and championing this at each and every company.

The other piece is the quantifiable goals. There is a metric that we're looking at that we want to achieve, and that we're measuring our success. Pacesetters, we have a new cohort every couple of years, so we're starting a new cohort right now. It kicked off in February, and the whole idea is that we will continue this goal each and every couple of years.

Now, the first pilot, we start off with a goal of a thousand. We didn't just meet the goal, we exceeded by over 60 percent. There are a lot of different...


Lee:  There are a lot of different strategies that were utilized in order to do this. We looked at K‑12. Looking at young girls, trying to encourage and excite their interest. A lot of companies, I know Microsoft, for example, focused on the K‑12 initiative. At Qualcomm, we focused on the community side, really building up our women's group and getting them involved and engaged.

There isn't one answer for this. It's multiple, multiple answers. We have a cohort of universities and corporations. I'd really like to recognize all of them who are here today. If you would stand up and be recognized as a Pacesetter that would be great.


Lee:  What you'll see on this slide is that we...Here we go. We actually had all of our Pacesetters come back from last year, as well as increasing the number of Pacesetters by including some startup organizations. This is really great, because as you know, technology doesn't have one face, it has multiple faces. There are large corporations with startups, there's education. We want to make sure that everyone is involved and engaged in making a difference in this initiative.

Thank you very much. Please, if you've got ideas about how to engage women and girls in science technology, let us know because we want your involvement, because it takes all of us, our collaboration, to make a difference. Thank you.


Bobby:  Thanks very much, Lee. Thanks to everybody who's been involved in the Pacesetters program, which has really become a landmark program of NCWIT and a way that we're really making a difference.

Now, it's my pleasure to come to the concluding part of this session by introducing Dr. Tony Hey, who will make a special announcement.

Tony is somebody who's very well‑known to many of us in the computing community. He's currently Vice President for Microsoft Research Connections in Microsoft Research, where he's responsible for worldwide university research collaborations with Microsoft researchers. Also, on the scientific side, he's responsible for the multi‑disciplinary E‑science research group within Microsoft Research.

Tony's list of honors would take us into the afternoon. He's a Fellow of the UK Royal Academy of Engineering, was awarded a CBE. That one is worth knowing about. By the way, it stands officially for Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 2005. Many others, he's a fellow of the British Computer Society, the Institute of Electronic Engineering and Technology, the Institute of Physics, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Before Tony joined Microsoft, he had a distinguished academic career, including serving as head of the School of Electronics and Computer Science, and then Dean of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Southampton, where he not only built a department in computer science that was renowned, but also led quite a bit of emphasis in diversity. It's a great honor to have Tony joining us today.


Tony Hey:  Thank you very much, Bobby. The most relevant part of all the background is that I was Dean of Engineering and we had a problem with the number of women doing engineering at my university, Southampton in England. We set up a women‑in‑engineering group, and I had a wonderful person to lead it, and so on. I have to say it was a very intimidating meeting when I found out I was at a committee meeting that I was the only male.

I recognize that you guys see that all the time, but, for me, it was an interesting experience. What I do is run Microsoft Research Connections, so we collaborate with universities around the world, and I have a wonderful opportunity to see wonderful researchers, and really have a privileged time in collaborating with these great people around the world.

What I'm talking about today is our connections with NCWIT. You've all seen these statistics, they are extremely interesting, a large number of jobs in IT, which only a small percentage can be filled by the number coming through the US computing pipeline. Girls are only 46 percent of AP takers, but sorry, 19 percent of the computer science.

Again, that's an NCWIT number. 18 percent of undergraduate computing and information sciences degrees were awarded to women. These are numbers that we really should try and do something about.

Twice as many women lead to computing careers than their male counterparts during the middle of their career, and the number of women completing master's and doctoral degrees in computing is holding steady or declining slightly at around 30 percent.

A large number is a number which we like to do something about. There are really interesting numbers, for example, Microsoft is concerned...the tech companies with more women on their leadership teams have a 34 percent high return on investment. The presence of women on technical teams increases team's collective intelligence, problem‑solving ability, and so on. Inventors' teams, including women, have higher citations.

There's every reason for a company like Microsoft to really care about the pipeline and get more women into computing. These numbers obviously are generated by NCWIT, which I think does a great job in generating these facts.

Microsoft, then, has a reason to care about diversity and inclusion, and we include...not the minority, women are half the population. We really need to take advantage of that, and we want to hire top talent and to continue to innovate, otherwise Microsoft won't survive.

In Microsoft Research, as you'll see from the quotation from Rick Rashid, who founded and has led Microsoft Research for the past 22 years. He really believes that having women in the teams makes a big difference, and getting women involved in research projects and having interns and collaborating with universities is something that we regard as vitally important.

Diversity drives innovation, it's critical to our business, innovation. Women are critical to innovation. Gender balance promotes team productivity. I think my team is about 50 people. I think I have the most number, the highest percentage of women in Microsoft Research in my group. It really makes a difference.

Diversity, of course, drives market reach, because women have a lot of purchasing power and buy lots of devices, and we need to know what sort of devices they want, so it's really important. It says here, 40 to 60, the women surpass men 18 to 34 in purchasing the latest mobile technologies. That's certainly true of my wife, who certainly always surprises me with her latest device that she's bought.

55 billion in consumer technology projects, and by having diversity in our teams, we can actually try and do better at producing things that people really want. These are things that Microsoft takes very seriously, and we're really extremely important to the company at large.

Why are we involved at NCWIT? We've been involved for a long time now, and our partnership is about the opportunity. We know that to make broad societal change, corporations must be a leader in the industry, so we want Microsoft to be a leader in this space in helping get a larger pipeline of women in computing.

The more that we can do in this space it will actually catalyze a bandwagon, people who will follow and see the benefits of it. It's important. We feel that programs like NCWIT produce women like Emily P. Brown. Emily, I think, is certainly here at the meeting. I saw her yesterday. Let me tell you a little bit about Emily.

She's presenting a Flash talk on how to make computing more accessible to students outside the traditional pipeline. We know that lots of girls are excluded from computing, because they either missed the early introduction or their school doesn't have classes in computer science, or they live in rural communities, and so on.

These are the aspirations of computing and these can touch these girls and help them become an enabler for students like Emily. Emily is the first in her family to pursue a higher‑education degree, and while she was in high school, she taught her peers programming after school. Today, she's a sophomore in Computer and Information Technology with a focus on Information Systems at Purdue.

She's a leader of the Women in Computing group and she's decided that the path she's been able to take is one she wants others to take as well. She's setting out to start an aspiring IT middle‑school computing group, and with another colleague, Janneth, she's actually starting that program, and we wish her well.

We believe people like Emily are the reasons we are doing such a great job in NCWIT, and that's one of the reasons why Microsoft is very keen to continue supporting. Can we have a hand of applause to Emily and Janneth?


Tony:  I do invite you to watch Emily's flash talk later on today. Those are all the reasons why Microsoft is committing today, another four years of sponsorship for NCWIT.


Tony:  We think Lucy and her team has done a great job and the alliances, as you heard from Bobby and others, are really making a difference. We'll actually focus our money slightly differently this time.

We'll certainly support the Academic Alliance Seed Fund Award and The Aspirations Computing Program, but at a slightly different balance. We're committed to building a pipeline of talent for girls in technology. This program, we believe, is the key to doing so.

We're going to change a little bit, the program. We're starting with a new portal that connects applicants to the program, not just award recipients. Anybody, all participants, educators, parents, will receive support, resources and opportunities.

Applying for the Aspirations Award, leading an Aspire IT Middle School Program, or participating in Webinars, or Internships, or rÈsumÈs are some of the skills, that girls might learn and do in the program. Really it's more important than that.

The program features not just a one‑off, short‑term engagement. It features a 5‑ to 10‑year engagement horizon, girls entering the program in middle or high school receiving support across the critical transition points, middle to high school, high school to college, college to internship or job placement. We are to also be able to connect those girls to other programs offered by companies and universities..

For example, at Microsoft, we have through the DigiGirlz Program reached over 5,000 girls during the last three years, connecting High school girls with technology. But connecting those girls to this program, and in return connecting those girls to university outreach programs, and engaging them all to the Middle school girls, that's really a pipeline.

We have lots of little programs all isolated. We see the opportunity with NCWIT to bring them all together and generate a really significant movement across the nation. We think the work of NCWIT is critically important, and we're really happy to be supporting it for another four years. Thank you very much.


Bobby:  Tony, thank you so much. Not only for those inspiring remarks, but also for Microsoft's continuing research with both, provides support for NCWIT, but also provides a strong message to the rest of this community. We appreciate for both of those reasons. We're at the end of this session, just a couple of comments to sum up.

First of all, as these words were meant to depict, NCWIT isn't an organization of a few people. NCWIT is all of you. You're all change agents who go out into your organizations and lead that change, and we greatly appreciate that. NCWIT is also ever growing, very capable staff. We want to take this opportunity to ask the staff members of NCWIT, who are in the room, to please rise so that we can thank them for everything that they do.



Transcription by CastingWords