The shortage of female Information Technology professionals presents the opportunity for women looking to begin a career in technology- but that doesn’t mean that the glass ceiling has been shattered…yet. Luckily, for someone just beginning the job hunt, or ‘right fit’ in a technology education institution, there are several organizations dedicated to helping women gain access, and integrate into the industry. If you’re seeking a supportive community of like-minded professionals, students, and techies- check out these five associations and organizations that are here to help.
Carolyn Leighton founded WITI to help women advance by providing access to – and support from – other professional women working in all sectors of technology (read the story or watch the video.) WITI started in 1989 as The International Network of Women in Technology and, in 2001, evolved into The WITI Professional Association, the world’s leading trade association for tech-savvy women. Today, WITI is the premiere global organization empowering women in business and technology to achieve unimagined possibilities.
With a global network of smart, talented women and a market reach exceeding 2 million, WITI has powerful programs and partnerships that provide connections, resources, opportunities and a supportive environment of women committed to helping each other.
The National Center for Women & Information Technology is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization chartered in 2004 by the National Science Foundation. NCWIT is a “collective impact” effort, a community of more than 700 prominent corporations, academic institutions, government agencies, and non-profits working to increase girls’ and women’s participation in technology and computing. NCWIT helps organizations recruit, retain, and advance women from K-12 and higher education through industry and entrepreneurial careers by providing support, evidence, and action. NCWIT is the only national organization focused on women’s participation in computing across the entire ecosystem: K-12 through college education, and academic to corporate and entrepreneurial careers.
Women In Technology
In 1999, the Maui Economic Development Board (MEDB) created the Women in Technology (WIT) Project to work in partnership with educators and businesses to build and strengthen Hawaii’s science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education-to-workforce pipeline.
To accomplish this, WIT strives to motivate under-utilized resources such as women and minorities toward technology-related fields. According to the latest national studies, women represent the largest under-utilized national resource of great potential in science and technology.
Data suggests that to maintain the present number of scientists and engineers in the U.S., enrollment and retention of women and ethnic minorities in these fields must rise from less than 25% to 75% over the next 40 years.
For the past decade, WIT has been at the forefront of inspiring and providing cutting-edge STEM education across the islands to meet those 21st century workforce demands.
The WIT Organization seeks to provide a forum for discussion of issues pertinent to women working in technology and opportunities for women within the Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS) to meet and network. In 2003 the first Women in Technology panel discussion was held at the PASS Community Summit. WIT host monthly webinars to promote women speakers presenting technical topics and sessions on topics such as gender bias. Their monthly newsletter tells members about women in the community speaking at local events, news about the group, and a WIT focused editorial. WIT also host a Women in Technology Luncheon at their parent organization’s yearly event, PASS Summit. PASS Summit was held last week, and we had a big presence at the conference. WIT encourages women and girls to pursue tech careers, and some members volunteer to hold tech workshops such as through TechGirlz.org or volunteering through LaunchCode. In addition to encouraging the next generation, WIT learn how to support other women in the workplace. However, the membership is not exclusive to women. WIT have many men involved in the chapter who support and understand that what the industry has to say affects us all.
Launched in 2000, the WEST organization provides a forum for women in science and technology industries to network and share information about career advancement and skill development. Uniquely tied to this highly educated, influential community, the WEST leadership has long provided a supportive environment for mid-career women in these vital sectors, allowing them a unique opportunity to acquire the skills necessary to become business leaders in their fields.
WEST offers a rich and thriving community that provides support, guidance, and professional development for professionals in science, engineering, and technology industries. Members can leverage a broad array of workshops and panels that include advice regarding career advancement, alternate career options, professional skill building, and exposure to entrepreneurial thinking. Calibrated to arm our members with the skills they need in today’s competitive, fast-paced work environment, the WEST organization works tirelessly to bring the most up-to-date information to the group. Through education, mentor-ship, and engaged networking, we strive to serve our diverse community so our members can achieve their full potential.
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