By: J.D. Ross
The School of Information Studies (iSchool) at Syracuse University is joining the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) Pacesetters program today at a kick-off ceremony in Santa Cruz, California.
NCWIT’s Pacesetters is a fast-track program that seeks to radically increase the number of women in the technology and computing fields.
In a two-year initiative during which senior leaders from academia and industry commit to increasing the number of women in the technology workforce, cohort participants agree to use innovative recruitment and retention methods to tap new talent pools with the goal of bringing significant “net new” women to their organizations.
The new cohort of NCWIT Pacesetters begins its two-year commitment with a meeting at the University of California at Santa Cruz today. The iSchool joins 19 other universities and 14 companies that include startups and global corporations, public and private universities, and state government departments.
Currently women hold only about 25 percent of all computing-related occupations in the U.S. and comprise just 18 percent of all computing and information science degrees earned at U.S. institutions. More than half of technical women leave their jobs at the mid-career level, when their loss is most costly to companies.
“By participating in NCWIT Pacesetters, these organizations are holding themselves accountable for a quantifiable ‘net new women’ goal within an aggressive timeframe,” said Lucy Sanders, CEO of NCWIT. “We applaud them for their exemplary commitment to increasing their numbers of technical women and we’re excited to help them achieve their goals.”
“We are proud to be partnering with NCWIT and their Pacesetters program,” said iSchool Dean Liz Liddy. “Our country is experiencing a deficit of female talent, and we are committed to doing our part to increase interest in the technology disciplines. We want to help encourage women to join our community of information innovators.”
The Pacsetters program is sponsored by the National Science Foundation, Google, and Qualcomm.