Thursday, April 20, the Information Technology department will be sponsoring an event in Iowa Hall showcasing “Women in Technology” during the student activity hour (11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.). The goal of this event is to highlight the many contributions women have made in the fields of technology and to provide an opportunity to network with community leaders in the field.
Taylor Bauer, one of the student coordinators of the event, shared, “There will be local industry representatives on hand for conversations. Right now we have Michelle Scott from Collins Aerospace, who works in cybersecurity and Dianna Burnett from Unity Point Healthcare, who updates software for their system and works in tech scheduled to be here.”
Statistics show women are still underrepresented in the science and engineering workforce, with the greatest gap in the fields of engineering and computer science. Women make up 48 percent of the total workforce, yet constitute only 26 percent in computer and mathematical sciences and 16 percent in engineering. Furthermore, when it comes to bachelor’s degrees, women earn a disproportionately low percentage of degrees in engineering (24%), computer science (21%), and physics (24%). (Statistics from NGCP, The State of Girls and Women in STEM, March 2023 report)
“Diversity in these areas can lead to better ideas, products and solutions. The overall benefits are to the industry and communities,” stated Bauer.
It is the hope of the coordinators to provide a networking opportunity for women who are already enrolled in tech as well as those looking to explore opportunities in technology.
“There will be information for those who have always been interested in tech but didn’t exactly know where to start. Like they may not have had support, information or those opportunities. We hope to provide opportunities and support for women and hope they will be inspired to go out and provide opportunities and support to others,” said Bauer.
“We will have a trivia game – a fun and interactive way to educate on the essential impacts women have made in the technology space. There will be prizes. Everyone will get a prize for participating.” Bauer encourages any woman who wants to learn more about the history of women involved in the tech industry, or maybe just to be inspired to explore the field, to stop by the display.
Samantha Hench, Information Technology Associate Professor and core assessment lead for the IT Department, is the faculty lead in this project.