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Women in Information Technology

March 4, 2016 author:

Zeina Abdul SamadA major concern in our industry over the last few years has been the declining number of women in the computing fields. IT is not like other industries where there is a “glass ceiling”, a level above which women cannot rise: there are numerous examples of women CIOs in Chicago alone, including the former CIO of Boeing Corporation Kim Hammonds, now Global Chief Operating Officer of Deutsche Bank AG. And of course there’s Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, and Megan Smith, CTO of the United States. But we understand that it is difficult being female in a male-majority industry. Our department is strongly committed to doing everything we can to reduce this gender imbalance and to ensure that every student in our program is successful. Because this is a serious concern, I wanted to take an opportunity to share some resources to support women in IT. And guys: you should at least read the articles so you can begin to understand why this is an issue.

WITI – Women in Technology International: http://www.witi.com/ – The premier global organization helping tech-savvy women attain their professional goals.

WITI Chicago: http://www.witi.com/networks/chicago/
WITI Chicago Jobs: http://jobs.witi4hire.com/home/index.cfm?site_id=273
STEM for Her: https://www.stemforher.org/ – A non-profit foundation that promotes education to create awareness, excitement, and opportunities among girls and young women to pursue successful STEM-related careers.

NCWIT – The National Center for Women & Information Technology: https://www.ncwit.org/ – A non-profit community of more than 600 universities, companies, non-profits, and government organizations nationwide working to increase women’s participation in computing and technology.

NCWIT Aspirations in Computing: https://www.aspirations.org/ – A talent development pipeline initiative of the National Center for Women & IT (NCWIT) designed to increase women’s meaningful participation in computing careers by providing encouragement, visibility, community, leadership opportunities, scholarships, and internships to high potential technically inclined young women. The NCWIT Collegiate Award, sponsored by HP and Qualcomm, honors the outstanding technical accomplishments of collegiate women at all levels. Conferred upon six students annually, the Award recognizes technical projects that demonstrate a high level of creativity and potential societal impact.

ATA Attract-Retain-Advance: http://www.aramentors.com/ – Aspires to Attract, Retain, and Advance women in technology by cultivating and nurturing relationships via mentorship and events/programs, thereby building strong female leaders to support and influence the IT community.

ARA Events for Women in IT: http://www.aramentors.com/news-events/events/ – ARA regularly holds events in Chicago, 4 in 2015, more than any other city

WSC – The Women’s Society of Cyberjutsu: http://womenscyberjutsu.org/ – A non-profit passionate about helping and empowering women to succeed in the Cybersecurity field.

The Atlantic: “We Need More Women in Tech: The Data Prove It” : http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/10/we-need-more-women-in-tech-the-data-prove-it/280964/

c|net: “Women in tech: The numbers don’t add up” : http://www.cnet.com/news/women-in-tech-the-numbers-dont-add-up

Forbes: “Why We Need More Women In Technology” : http://www.forbes.com/sites/peterdiamandis/2014/11/03/please-we-need-more-women-in-technology/print/

Forbes: “Here’s the Real Reason There Are Not More Women in Technology” : http://www.forbes.com/sites/markfidelman/2012/06/05/heres-the-real-reason-there-are-not-more-women-in-technology/print/

Slate: “Hackathons Have a Gender Problem – And they might explain why it’s so difficult to attract women to work in cybersecurity.” :

The Internet Society – “Women in Tech: Shine The Light”: http://www.internetsociety.org/women-tech-shine-light – Unsolicited Advice For Women and Girls Who Want To Work In Tech

ACM-W – ACM’s Women in Computing: http://women.acm.org/ – ACM-W supports, celebrates, and advocates internationally for the full engagement of women in all aspects of the computing field, providing a wide range of programs and services to ACM members and working in the larger community to advance the contributions of technical women.

IEEE Computing Society: “Women in Computing”: https://www.computer.org/web/communities/women-in-computing/

NICCS – National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and Studies: “Information For Women & Minorities”: https://niccs.us-cert.gov/home/women-minorities – Major page of resources available to women and minorities about education, training, and careers in cybersecurity and IT

Women in Information Technology Conference: http://itri.uark.edu/women_in_it_conference.php – Attendees will gain knowledge, grow networks, and lend a voice to how women can continue to forge new ground in the field of Information Technology. Tuesday & Wednesday, April 12-13, 2016 in Fayetteville, Arkansas

WiCyS – Women in Cybersecurity conference: https://www.csc.tntech.edu/wicys/ – Originally funded by the National Science Foundation grant with support from various industry, government and academic partners, WiCyS has become a continuing effort to recruit, retain and advance women in cybersecurity; it brings together women in cybersecurity from academia, research and industry for sharing of knowledge/experience, networking and mentoring. March 31st-April 2 in Dallas, Texas.