Senior Executives from Leading Companies and Universities Seek to Increase Number of Women in Technology and Computing

BOULDER, Colo.--()--The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) today introduces the new participants of NCWIT Pacesetters, a fast-track program that seeks to radically increase the number of women in technology and computing.

NCWIT Pacesetters is a two-year program in which senior leaders from companies and universities publicly commit to increasing the number of women in the U.S. computing and technology workforce. Participants use innovative recruitment and retention methods to tap new talent pools and introduce interventions for those at risk of leaving, with the goal of bringing significant “net new” women to their organizations. The program is sponsored by the National Science Foundation, Google, and Qualcomm.

Currently women hold only 25 percent of all computing-related occupations in the U.S. and comprise just 18 percent of all computing and information sciences degrees earned at U.S. institutions. More than half (56 percent) of technical women leave their jobs at the mid-career level, when their loss is most costly to companies. Additionally, research has found that women’s increased participation has been tied to higher profits, better return on investment, and more innovative teams. With an estimated 1.4 million technology jobs being added to the workforce by 2020, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, women represent a valuable, untapped talent pool.

The new cohort of NCWIT Pacesetters kicks off its two-year commitment with a meeting at the University of California at Santa Cruz on February 25, 2013. The 20 universities and 14 companies participating include startups and global corporations, public and private universities, and state government departments:

Aetna     Intel     Syracuse University School of Information Studies
AT&T Michigan Tech The Women’s College at University of Denver
Bank of America Microsoft University of California at Irvine
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Purdue University University of California Santa Cruz
Carnegie Mellon University Qualcomm University of Nebraska at Omaha
Cisco Systems Return Path University of Tampa
DePauw University Santa Clara University University of Texas at Austin
Facebook SendGrid University of Virginia
Fort Valley State University SpotXchange University of Washington
Georgia Tech State of Colorado Office of Information Technology Villanova University
Google Symantec Virginia Tech
Indiana University

Participants in the 2010 pilot NCWIT Pacesetters program saw significant results:

  • Google held career development sessions with engineers including mock interviews and doubled the number of female software engineering summer interns in 2011 compared to 2010.
  • At the University of California at Santa Cruz, women in computer science majors are up 40% from two years ago, thanks in part to a redesign of entry-level courses and a marketing campaign targeting freshman and sophomore women.
  • Microsoft saw huge results by focusing efforts in three key areas: an internship program to move college students into industry; on-boarding programs that connect new female hires to sponsors within the company; and a global women’s community to raise the visibility of women in the company.
  • Intel piloted a “command presence” workshop that provided executive training to more than 100 mid-level technical women.
  • Indiana University at Bloomington trained its faculty on best practices in pedagogy and doubled the number of female undergraduate majors, from 75 to 150, in 18 months.

“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.”


The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) is a non-profit community of more than 350 prominent corporations, academic institutions, government agencies, and non-profits working to increase women's participation in IT and computing. NCWIT helps organizations recruit, retain, and advance women from K-12 and higher education through industry and entrepreneurial careers. NCWIT provides statistics, research, best practices and a national voice for the increased participation of girls and women in IT and computing. Find out more at


National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT)
Jenny Slade, 303-735-6600
Communications Director

Release Summary

Prominent companies and universities engage in aggressive program to increase women in tech with NCWIT.


National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT)
Jenny Slade, 303-735-6600
Communications Director