Aspirations in Computing Talent Development Initiative

The National Center for Women and Information Technology has a great program aimed at high school girls. This one is the Aspirations in Computing Talent Development Initiative. The initiative provides

encouragement, visibility, community, leadership opportunities, scholarships, and internships to aspiring technically inclined young women.

Applications are open now for the national and local awards. If you are a young woman in high school, apply now! You can learn more about the award and the NCWIT program here. Follow on Twitter at @NCWITAIC.

Hat tip to @redcrew for pointing this program out.

Research shows how to retain women in tech (Infographic)

We cannot get enough women into tech fields, the pipeline is far from full. A further problem is that once women do get into tech jobs, they often leave in mid-career.

Women Technologists Count, a report from the Anita Borg Institute, takes a look at the reasons why women in mid-level jobs tend to leave technical career paths to become managers and/or leave the industry entirely.

An article at Fast Company, Why Women Leave Tech Companies, And What To Do About It, details more about the study and its findings. The article includes an infographic which summarizes the findings. I suggest you read the full article in addition to taking a look at the infographic.

what women need to remain in tech

Ultimate Mentor Adventure for Girls in STEM

[Reprinted from Old Ain't Dead.]

Marvel is doing something marvelous for girls who are interested in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) around the release of Thor: The Dark World. The program is called Ultimate Mentor Adventure. Here’s how it works.

Ultimate Mentor Adventure promo

Natalie Portman in the Ultimate Mentor Adventure promo

Natalie Portman, who plays Jane Foster, an astrophysicist, in Thor: The Dark World describes the program in a video you can see here.

  • Girls from the U.S. in grades 9 – 12 can apply. The minimum age is 14.
  • Each girl is connected to a mentor who is working in a field in which the girl is interested.
  • The girl interviews the mentor and makes a video.
  • The videos are entered in the contest.
  • The winner gets to go to the opening of Thor: The Dark World in California and see the video they made shown along with the film. The winner also gets to go behind the scenes at the movie.

A girl really cannot lose by participating in this mentor adventure. Just by participating she gets to meet a woman in a position she wants to know more about. The girls get help finding the mentors and making the videos. Everyone who participates will have a positive experience whether she wins or not.

Kudos to Marvel for this brilliant idea.

 

Pop Culture and Women in Tech

Tina Majorino and Kristen Bell in Veronica Mars

A geeky Tina Majorino with Kristen Bell in Veronica Mars

I wrote We Need More Young Geeky Female Role Models on TV on my pop culture blog, Old Ain’t Dead. I’m calling it to your attention here because I think representation in media is of supreme importance in getting more girls in the STEM career pipeline. I hope you’ll give it a read.

Skye, played by Chloe Bennet, in Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D is a good example of the kind of character I’m talking about. This show just began this week. We need more like her everywhere on TV.

Do you have any ideas about how to get more young girls interested in tech careers and about getting more positive geeky girl role models on TV?

Useful links: Women, @media queries, Responsive, Twitter in Edu

What Women Don’t Want is from Ladybits. Spoiler alert – women don’t want TitStare.

7 Habits of Highly Effective Media Queries is an excellent recap of the UX Summit closing session.

Responsive Design is Not About Screen Sizes Anymore is from Speckyboy.

Using Twitter Effectively in Education is a talk from Alec Couros.

Useful Links: Girls in IT, wearable tech, early edu

Why schoolgirls are not interested in studying IT is an essay by a 13 year old English schoolgirl.

This bracelet could replace your passwords, your car keys, and even your fingerprints. This is the ultimate in cool and something a forgetful password keeper like myself thinks is a great idea. It’s also the ultimate privacy invasion. Since it can be anything, how long until its baked into something like Google Glass or whatever comes after Google Glass?

3 Tech Skills Every Kid Should Learn at School (but doesn’t) is right on the mark.