Title: Founder and CEO
Organization: The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), Boulder, Colo.
The U.S. Department of Labor predicts that more than 2 million technology-related jobs will be added to the nation's workforce by 2012. But according to recent research conducted by the Information Technology Association of America, the percentage of women in the U.S. IT workforce has fallen by 18.5% over the past eight years. To help address this decline, Cisco Systems Inc. recently began a partnership with the NCWIT to increase awareness of educational and career opportunities for girls and women in science, technology, math and engineering. Thomas Hoffman spoke with Lucy Sanders about the group's work with Cisco and what they hope to achieve.
Lucy Sanders, founder and CEO of The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT)
Any idea what percentage of the U.S. IT workforce is made up of women right now? It's about 29%, and it's on a downward trend. What's more alarming is the drop in enrollment in computer science programs, down about 18% [for men and women] at U.S. colleges and universities. And only 15% of high school students are taking advanced placement tests in computer science. Some companies say they feel like they're OK today in terms of female participation in IT, but they don't expect to be OK in the future.
What are some steps that Cisco and the NCWIT plan to take to increase awareness of career opportunities for women in IT? This awareness campaign is a really important first step. We're trying to get the word out to parents and educators that this is a wonderfully creative career. There's a perception that it's singular and geeky. But I know firsthand that it's an exciting and creative and socially relevant career. So we're sending out materials to parents and educators. That's an important first step. And there will be more. We really do need to mobilize parents to make them realize the importance of these career opportunities.
What It Takes to Be World-class
How do IT organizations in world-class companies differ from those in typical companies? The Hackett Group defines several key differentiating characteristics in its "Book of Numbers" research report, released this month.
- Silicon Valley's 19 Coolest Places to Work
- Is Windows 8 Development Worth the Trouble?
- 8 Books Every IT Leader Should Read This Year
- 10 Hot Hadoop Startups to Watch
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Infographic: Converged Infrastructure Benefits This Infographic quantifies the savings organizations are realizing from increased deployment speed, higher availability, and lower annual costs.
- CIOs Deliver Productivity Breakthroughs with Intelligent Digital Signage Retailers have long recognized the influence that digital signage provides over a shopper's point-of-purchase decision making process.
- Going Paperless? Here's What You Need to Think About As makers of some of the world's most popular PDF solutions, we often consult with businesses & governmental agencies that have the goal...
- The Big Data Opportunity for HR and Finance If CEOs, CFOs, CIOs, and CHROs want to drive their businesses forward, they will need to quickly recognize the enormous value of big...
- Top 4 Digital Signage Fails Join RMG Networks for a look at four of the most common reasons digital signage fails in corporate businesses. Learn about strategies to...
- Building Tomorrow's Infrastructure Listen to this podcast to discover how Crider Foods worked with PC Connection to update their IT infrastructure, while maintaining compliance and control. All IT Careers White Papers | Webcasts
Our 28th annual survey results show which IT skills are in high demand and which are cooling off. Also, see how your salary stacks up to peers' with our Smart Salary Tool.