Held in late May in Tucson, Arizona, the National Center for Women & Information Technology Summit on Women and IT: Practices and Ideas to Revolutionize Computing brought together leaders, change agents, and stakeholders to focus on research-driven practices that strengthen the computing workforce and promote technology innovation by increasing the participation of girls and women.
The annual event blends educators from all levels, entrepreneurs, business and technology professionals, and graduate students for learning about leading-edge research on curriculum, outreach, recruitment, retention, and advocacy efforts across the entire CS and IT pipeline. Along with iSchool research professor and founding NCWIT member Lecia Barker, three PhD students attended the summit. Students Jane Gruning, Nida Kazim, and Jennifer Noble participated in a daylong panel meeting on research in gender and technology.
The National Center for Women & Information Technology is a non-profit community of more than 450 prominent corporations, academic institutions, government agencies, and non-profits working to increase women's participation in technology and computing. NCWIT helps organizations recruit, retain, and advance women from K-12 and higher education through industry and entrepreneurial careers by providing community, evidence, and action.
Although women today comprise half the world's population and more than half of the U.S. professional workforce, they play only a small role in inventing the technology of tomorrow. The lack of girls and women in computing and technology represents a failure to capitalize on the benefits of diverse perspectives: in a world dependent on innovation, it can bring the best and broadest problem-solvers to the table; and at a time when technology drives economic growth, it can yield a larger and more competitive workforce.