The Center for Women In Technology (CWIT), was established at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) in July 1998, dedicated to providing global leadership in achieving women’s full participation in all aspects of information technology (IT). In 2006, the the scope of CWIT’s influence at UMBC expanded to include Engineering majors as well. In July 2011, the name change from The Center for Women and Information Technology captured the twin threads at the center of CWIT – women and technology – while being broader about the types of technology included. Women’s participation in the creation of technology in IT and engineering fields will strengthen the workforce, raise the standard of living for many women, and help to assure that technology addresses women’s needs and expands the possibilities for their lives.
The Center for Women In Technology (CWIT) is dedicated to increasing the representation of women in the creation of technology in the engineering and information technology fields. CWIT efforts begin with nurturing a strong group of Scholars, grow to building community resources for other women in these majors, extend to fostering a healthy gender climate and ITE pedagogy in College of Engineering and Information Technology (COEIT) departments, and finally expand into outreach efforts to increase interest in technical careers. A successful program for female-friendly engineering and information technology education at UMBC will help make UMBC a destination for women (and men) interested in technical careers and serve as a national model for other universities.
We aspire to collaborate with our internal and external partners to make UMBC a national model for female-friendly education in ITE and UMBC COEIT a destination for women interested in technical fields. We have identified four goals key to this aspiration:
- Sustain and strengthen a vital Scholar program for undergraduates committed to increasing the representation of women in ITE fields.
- Foster a supportive community for all women in ITE at UMBC.
- Improve gender climate in COEIT.
- Broaden the pipeline of talented women interested in ITE with K-12 outreach programs.
CWIT’s Relationship to UMBC:
CWIT supports UMBC’s commitment to diversity at all levels and its efforts to create a campus community rich in intellectual, cultural, and ethnic diversity. CWIT helps the University achieve its regional and national mission by identifying those areas in science, technology, and engineering where women are significantly underrepresented, attracting well-qualified female students to UMBC through special scholarship initiatives such as the CWIT Scholars Program, and working with departments and other campus partners to help make UMBC a welcoming place for women in engineering and information technology. CWIT also supports the University in its efforts to attract private and public funding to achieve its mission.