Advancing Women in IT Gets Budget Boost from Microsoft
- By Dian Schaffhauser
The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) has received a grant from Microsoft that will enable it to continue its work in recruiting, retaining, and advancing women in information technology. The grant brings Microsoft's investment in the coalition to $2 million since 2005.
"As a worldwide leader in research, Microsoft's involvement with NCWIT sends a powerful message that diversity of thought is essential to innovation," said Lucy Sanders, the center's CEO. "Women make up half the world's population, they use technology as much as men, and they are innovative technical thinkers. If we want the best technology we can get, then we need women at the design table."
Microsoft's initial funding for NCWIT provided support for several programs, including the NCWIT Academic Alliance Seed Fund, which grants start-up funds to university initiatives that attract and retain women in computing education; the Scorecard, a report on the status of women in IT; the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing, which recognizes high-school women for their computing aspirations and achievements; and NCWIT's annual meetings, which bring together 170 corporations, non-profits, and academic institutions from across the country. The continued funding also will support a range of initiatives, including NCWIT Pacesetters, a campaign in which members will grow their IT workforce through the accelerated recruitment and retention of women.
NCWIT coalition members include Dillard University in New Orleans; Harvey Mudd in Claremont, CA; and Spelman College in Atlanta, among many others.
Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.