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Initiatives at University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Dr. Lakshmi Iyer started the Women in IT initiative in 2009 which encourages girls and women to be more involved in STEM Education and Careers.
On March 29. 2014 – The first ever Triad Tech Savvy event was organized in the Sullivan Science Building for girls in grades 6 to 9 and their parents to provide hands-on activities in STEM fields as well as Savvy Skills session. This was made possible through a grant from American Association of University Women . This event was a partnership between AAUW Greensboro Branch, UNCG, Joint School of NanoScience and NanoEngineering, NC A&T, Guilford College, and Guilford Technical Community College (GTCC).
Dr. Iyer was appointed as the co-chair of the task force by Association of Information Systems – “Women in IS” between 2013-15 which aimed to improve AIS outreach to women — IS students, potential students, faculty, and professionals — in order to increase the number and success of women within the IS/IT profession. She is an active member of the Association of IS Women’s Network (AISWN) which was formed as the first official college of AIS.
Women in IT’s mission is to increase awareness of girls (in K-12 and higher education) and women about IT/Computing education/career opportunities and provide educational support for women to advance in IT. While women represent about 58% of the total workforce, the under-representation of women in computing continues to be a concern as studies show that only 25% of computing jobs in the U.S. are held by women. Computing job prospects are growing significantly (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014) and women are losing on the opportunities in the field.
Dr. Iyer partnered with several collaborators who support this initiative including the Association of Information Systems, National Center for Women in IT, American Association of University Women – Greensboro Branch, Guilford County Schools and Companies in Triad and beyond to increase awareness about IT education and careers among girls and women. Thanks to generous funding from Lincoln Financial Group who has supported UNCG’s initiative since 2012.
There are several events associated with the Women in IT Initiative at UNCG.
- The “IT is for Girls” a program for middle and high-school girls began in 2009. It is a week-long summer program and engages girls in middle, high-school and college through several hands-on technology and leadership activities. The program has been funded by NCWIT, AAUW and Lincoln Financial Group among others. Please feel free to browse the websites for the previous workshops in the archives link. Registration is now closed for 2017 “IT is for Girls/We Make IT” Summer Camp – July 24th to 28th, 2017.
- The Triad Tech Savvy event is a daylong STEM&M (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and Medical) program for girls in grades 6th through 9th and their parents/guardians/teachers. Sponsors include AAUW, Mattel Inc, Evonik, Syngenta, Hondajet, Wells Fargo and others. The 2017 event is scheduled for Saturday April 1st, 2017.
- RISE IT for Social Good: A program for Undergraduate female students interested in IS major who are yet to take the programming course (ISM240). This aims to Recruit, Inspire, Sustain and Engage (RISE) young women in IT projects based on Social Themes. The program will be offered at the beginning of Fall 2015 semester.
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