Women in Information Technology (WIT), an initiative launched by New York University (NYU), aims to counter the scarcity of women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math fields of study and in the technology industry in general.
According to a 2016 Bureau of Labor Statistics report, women comprised just 18% of computer and information sciences bachelor’s degree recipients in the U.S. The report also shows that the percentage of women occupying professional positions in computing in the U.S. job market was just slightly over 25%.
Statistics such as these presented NYU Information Technology (NYU IT) administrators with the opportunity to contribute to the dialogue and efforts towards closing the tech gender gap. In summer 2017, with the sponsorship of Vice President and Chief Information Officer Len Peters, NYU IT launched Women in Information Technology (WIT). The initiative’s mission: “To empower women who are working in IT-related professions at NYU, and to encourage them to reach their fullest professional and personal potential by pursuing University career opportunities, taking advantage of professional resources on campus, and employing industry best practices in their fields.”
WIT Connects NYU Professionals to Technology Resources—and with Each Other
“One of the benefits of participating in WIT is the opportunity to network with staff and meet other people from across the University,” says Santiago. “Employees are encouraged to take some time away from their desks to discuss topics they’re interested in and share stories with colleagues who’ve had similar work experiences.”
WIT Celebrates NYU Women Who Are Blazing Paths in IT
If you visit the WIT website, you’ll notice a Trailblazers of the Month section that features the professional stories of women from across the University’s technology community. In addition to helping the next wave of female IT leaders reach their potential, WIT is keen on recognizing the accomplishments of NYU women who are making waves in tech. And that includes administrators and faculty from years past who have invented and innovated in the world of computing.
“It’s important to recognize and celebrate the fact that so many women have forged successful careers within a space that is known for being male-dominated. However, it’s also crucial for us to work together to advocate for, and empower the next generation of women in this field,” says Jodi Goldberg, an IT applications and operations manager currently serving as Assistant Director in NYU IT’s Accessible Technology Services unit.
WIT Wants to Help Close the Tech Gender Gap at NYU and Beyond
As WIT heads into the new year, the group is focused on both sustaining their expanding network, and developing new ways to respond to the evolving needs of NYU’s current and future female tech professionals.
For Women in Information Technology, increasing diversity in tech can also translate into creative solutions that address the technological needs of clients and end users. “I agree with the National Center for Women & Technology (NCWIT) who posit that when there is a dearth of women in technology, both IT organizations and the customer are at a disadvantage. ” says Goldberg. “For example, the presence of the unique female view during the design and innovation stages helps to create products and services that will serve a larger customer base. This influence will be lost if women aren’t involved in the process.”
Read more about Women in Information Technology at nyu.edu.