Female students pursuing or considering high-tech careers have a new resource on the IUPUI campus.
Students have partnered with the School of Informatics and Computing to organize Women in Technology (WIT), an organization dedicated to empowering, inspiring and developing female leaders in computing and technology. And they are introducing themselves to the IUPUI community on April 28th with the First Annual Women in Technology Networking and Career Day at the IUPUI Campus Center. This free event, scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., features local employers, roundtable discussions and IU’s First Lady, Laurie McRobbie, as keynote speaker.
WIT and the April 28th event are supported in part by an IUPUI Campus Center Funding Grant and the National Center for Women in Information Technology (NCWIT), which recently awarded the group a grant to help develop their IUPUI presence. According to NCWIT, groups encouraging women in technology are much-needed. Women occupy more than half of all professional positions in the U.S., but only one-fourth of all computing-related occupations. And women make up only 11 percent of corporate officers at Fortune 500 technology companies. Furthermore, women earned 18 percent of all computing-related degrees as recently as 2009 – a significant drop from 1985 when women earned 37 percent of all such degrees.
WIT hopes to significantly build its membership across all undergraduate and graduate programs on campus, including informatics, computer science, engineering and more. Benefits it plans to offer its members include mentoring, networking opportunities and research resources, as well as community outreach projects. It also plans to continue building strong, supportive relationships with local employers and female IT leaders like Laurie McRobbie.
McRobbie worked as a technologist in higher education for more than 25 years and holds an adjunct faculty appointment in the IU School of Informatics and Computing and Computing in Bloomington, where she helped found and currently chairs the Advisory Committee for an IT Clinic that provides service-learning opportunities for Informatics and Computing students with south central Indiana nonprofits. She is the former executive director of Internet2, a not-for-profit advanced networking consortium comprising more than 200 U.S. universities in cooperation with corporations, government agencies, research labs and other entities. She works with others within IU and statewide to emphasize the importance of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education for Indiana’s—and the nation’s—future.
For more information about WIT, how to become a member and the April 28th networking and career event at the IUPUI Campus Center, please visit www.iupui.edu/~getwitit.