Best of 2013: Women in IT Initiative
Omaha – It was a special year for UNO in 2013 with countless events, achievements, special guest visits and national recognitions for students, faculty, staff and alumni.
By the year 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects there will 4.2 million jobs in computing and information technology in the United States. Despite this expected growth, women comprise just 25 percent of all computing-related occupations in the United States.
As one of UNO's academic priorities, a focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education is necessary to educate tomorrow' workforce, but very few women are currently enrolled in STEM-related courses, nationally. This is something that the College of Information Science & Technology (IS&T) has decided to address through its new Women in IT Initiative, which was launched in May.
UNO's partnership includes community members from area businesses including Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Union Pacific Railroad and Gallup, among others with a goal is to raise $400,000 over the next three years scholarships, activities and mentorship programs.
As of this month, the Women in IT task force has raised $250,000 of the needed $400,000.
“We are excited to surpass this important milestone, as it shows a deep commitment from the Omaha community to not only fill the IT talent pool, but to enhance the potential of the IT profession,” said Hesham Ali, dean of the College of IS&T. “While misconceptions about the IT profession stand in the way of many promising young women from entering the workforce, our Initiative is dedicated to introducing them to what a career in IT actually looks like and how it fits into their future goals."