News & Press: InSider

AIS Collaborates with the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT)

Monday, March 16, 2015  

 
Jane Fedorowicz, while AIS President in 2013, formed the Women in IS Task Force to enhance AIS’ outreach efforts toward women in information systems based on a systematic assessment of the current status of women in IS globally.  One of the initiatives of this task force was to facilitate AIS’ relationship with the National Center for Women in Information Technology (NCWIT). NCWIT offers many programs that could benefit AIS academic members or help increase our student populations and their career opportunities. AIS became an NCWIT Academic Alliance member in 2012.

Several AIS members are actively involved with NCWIT through their own universities’ membership in the Academic Alliance. Two of these members, Lakshmi Iyer of University of North Carolina Greensboro and Sweta Sneha of Kennesaw State University, head the Women and IS Task Force. Dr. Iyer has also been recently appointed as a member of the Academic Alliance (AA) Executive Committee. “As an AAEC member of NCWIT, I am excited to further AIS’s relationships with NCWIT and find ways to bridge the efforts of both organizations to advance role of women in IS” says Dr. Iyer.  In addition, AIS has been invited to participate on NCWIT’s Leadership Team, and Jane Fedorowicz is serving in that role. These appointments speak to NCWIT’s recognition to expand their purview beyond computer science to encompass information systems in its mission. AIS may also be in a unique position to contribute to NCWIT’s national mission because of our global reach.

NCWIT offers many programs to help increase enrollment and retention of females in education and the workforce in IT. Many of our members’ universities are among those who participate in these programs already (check for you’re university here - http://www.ncwit.org/alliances/members/45). Their high quality IT branding and curriculum resources are available to anyone to adopt at http://www.ncwit.org/resources.  Key award and funding programs and opportunities are listed below:

NCWIT Programs

Brief Description

Aspirations in Computing Talent Development Initiative

This is a talent development initiative intended for aspiring technically inclined young women by providing encouragement, visibility, community, leadership opportunities, scholarships, and internships

Award for Aspirations in Computing

This honors young women at the high school level for their computing and IT aptitude, leadership ability, academic history, and plans for post-secondary education.

Aspirations in Computing Educator Award

This recognizes educators for their efforts to promote gender equity in computing and who play a pivotal role in helping to encourage young women to continue exploring their interest in computing and technology.

Dr. Iyer is the 2015 recipient of this prestigious NCWIT Educator Award.

The AspireIT Middle School Outreach Program

This is a pilot initiative that matches Aspirations in Computing recipients with participating Academic Alliance or K-12 Alliance members to run computing-related after-school programs, summer camps, clubs, or weekend conferences for middle school girls

Counselors for Computing (C4C)

C4C is a campaign designed to introduce students to pursue education and careers in IT by providing school counselorswith resources they can useto encourage underrepresented groups to pursue education and careers in computing and IT.

NCWIT Extension Services (ES)

ES provides customized consultation services to NCWIT Academic Alliance (AA) members for implementing systemic change in their undergraduate programs (UP) in ways that increase enrollment, retention, and graduation of women.

NCWIT Academic Alliance Seed Fund

This affords start-up funds to Academic Alliance members for developing and implementing initiatives for recruiting or retaining women in computing and IT. Drs. Iyer and Sneha are recipients of the 2015 award for a program entitled, “RISE (Recruit, Inspire, Support and Engage) IT for Social Good”, that aims to provide rising female sophomore students with an opportunity to get a head start on programming skills.

NCWIT Student Seed Fund

This funds student-runoutreach, mentoring, peer support, training, and professional development programs to recruit, retain, and support elementary middle-school, high-school, undergraduate, and graduate students.

NCWIT Symons Innovator Award

This award promotes women’s participation in IT and entrepreneurship by honoring an outstanding woman who has successfully built and funded an IT business.

NCWIT Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award

This award recognizes local/internationalrepresentativesfor outstanding mentorship, high-quality research, recruitment of women and minority students, and efforts to encourage and advance undergraduates in computing-related fields.

Dr. Fay Cobb Payton, another member of the Task Force, is a 2013 winner of the Mentoring Award.

NCWIT Pacesetters

This is a fast-track program in which senior executives from startups, corporations, universities, and government commit to increasing their numbers of technical women. Pacesetters program recognizes companies that implement a culture of women-friendly practices and retain more IT women in their organization.

Sit With Me (SWM)

SWM invites you to validate and recognize the important role women play in creating future technology by taking a small but symbolic action: sit in a red chair and share your story.

The Sit with Me Campaign placed a red chair at the NCWIT booth at AMCIS 2013 in Chicago.

 

NCWIT holds an annual summit each year that brings hundreds change leaders comprising of educators, entrepreneurs, corporate executives, and social scientists to discuss research, ideas, and action items for increasing girls’ and women’s participation in computing. Dr. Iyer will be organizing a bird-of-feather sessions at the 2015 Summit to discuss CS/IT collaboration and sharing of best practices.

For more information on NCWIT, consult their web site at www.ncwit.org or contact the members of the Task Force on Women and IS listed here:

Co-Chairs

   


Lakshmi Iyer

University of North Carolina Greensboro
USA 

Sweta Sneha
Kennesaw State University
USA


Members

  • Jenine Beekhuyzen, Griffith University, Australia
  • Ling GE, City University of Hong Kong
  • Marie Griffiths, University of Salford, Manchester, UK
  • Babita Gupta, California State University Monterey Bay, USA
  • Eleanor Loiacono, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, USA
  • Fay Cobb Payton, North Carolina State University, USA
  • Renee Pratt, Washington and Lee University, USA
  • Jason Thatcher, AIS Vice President of Membership, Clemson University, USA
  • Helmut Krcmar, AIS President, AIS Liaison to NCWIT, Technische Universität München, Denmark



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