What is the IT Empowerment for Women and Girls Initiative?

Mission and Charter | Program Focus | Founders | Organization List | Representative List

Established in the fall of 2000, the IT Empowerment for Women and Girls Initiative has 50+ entities (business, agencies, educational institutions K-16, community-based organizations) involved who have a combined interest in information technology and gender issues.

The IT Empowerment for Women and Girls Initiative’s mission is to catalyze efforts of participating organizations to move girls and women into the information technology/computer science arenas. The effort spans the continuum from career awareness opportunities to breaking down societal barriers about non-traditional fields, to the means and encouragement for achieving whatever education or training level is appropriate, to support and advancement once in the field.

1) To share and leverage current efforts
2) To enlighten the public and private sectors about the opportunities and barriers facing girls and women
3) To advocate about the critical need for women’s involvement and decision-making in policy, design, deployment, and end use of information and computer technology.

Representatives must be willing to participate in the working group meetings and the listserv established for the group by the UIC Center for Research on Women and Gender.

• Build stakeholders via awareness and leveraging of activities.
• Promulgate to business and the public the opportunities and obstacles in IT/CS for girls and young women.
• Advocate for women to have a seat at the “technology table.”
• All activities are ongoing and build upon each other.

Initiated by the Gender Equity Fund of the American Association of University Women-IL, Inc. with the support of the Women’s Bureau of the U.S. Department of Labor, this collaboration is a resource for not only its participants, but also an educational and workforce-related effort.

For further information and requests to affiliate, contact:
Ruth Sweetser
AAUW-IL Gender Equity Fund, Board Member; Co-Founder
Director, Professional Learning and Business Relations,
Illinois Institute of Technology
sweetser@iit.edu, 630/682-6020