MINNEAPOLIS (Sept. 9, 2015) – What’s the best way to find and support the next generation of tech enthusiasts? Recognize their talent and encourage them to pursue their dreams. That’s the goal of the fourth annual Minnesota Aspirations for Women in Computing awards. But first, these future tech stars need to be identified.
Here’s why: While women today comprise more than half of the U.S. professional workforce, they play only a small role in inventing the technology of tomorrow. And of the 1.2 million expected openings for computer specialists by 2022, the current number of American graduates can only fill 39 percent, according to the U.S Department of Labor, Bureau Statistics, 2014.
To help address this gender and talent gap, and encourage young women interested in technology, Advance IT Minnesota is seeking young women in high schools across the state with accomplishments and aspirations in technology, to apply for the Minnesota Aspirations for Women in Computing awards program online at http://advanceitmn.org/aspirations-in-computing-awards. Applications are being accepted through Oct. 26, 2015.
“Following three years of success in finding and supporting Minnesota’s best and brightest female high school tech enthusiasts, our goal with the awards program is to continue to inspire more young women to get involved in technology,” says Russell Fraenkel, Advance IT Minnesota, Interim Executive Director. “Our workforce needs their creativity and innovation, and these women have a phenomenal opportunity to be the next generation of leaders and innovators in a rapidly growing field.”
Last year, the Minnesota awards program honored 22 winners and runners-up across the state for their computing-related achievements and interests. Additionally, four students were recognized nationally.
The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) created the award in 2007 to encourage the computing aspirations of young women, introduce them to leadership opportunities in the field and generate visibility for women’s participation in computing-related careers.
Awards will be made based on the interests, accomplishments and community involvement of young women in computing and technology, as well as for their aspirations and leadership in computing and technology-related fields. Prizes for the award winners include scholarships, tech devices, cash rewards and paid internship opportunities at Minnesota technology firms.
Students can submit applications for the award online at http://advanceitmn.org/aspirations-in-computing-awards through Oct. 26, 2015.
Winners will be chosen in December 2015 and honored by sponsor partners at an April 2016 awards ceremony in Vadnais Heights, Minn.
All Minnesota applicants will automatically be entered into the national awards program. National winners will be honored at the 2016 Bank of America Technology Stars of the Future Showcase in March 2016.
Additional award program sponsors are being sought to support the collaborative efforts provided by the following 2014 partners: Land O’Lakes, Logic PD, Symantec, SPS Commerce, Maverick Software Consulting, Thomson Reuters, General Mills, Unisys, Twin Cities Chapter of the Association for Women in Computing, ViaWest, Pearson, Tech IT Out MN, Upper Midwest Security Alliance, Cargill, Best Buy, Securian, Nerdery, ESP IT, HelpSystems, College Recruiter, Marco, Code 42, Information System Security Association, Samsung, CDW, Minnesota Computers for Schools, Microsoft, Girls in Tech – Minneapolis, PeopleNet, Minnesota High Tech Association-Women Leading in Technology, Bellmont Partners, BDPA – Twin Cities, TECHdotMN, Genesys Works, NCWIT and Advance IT Minnesota.
For more information, contact Kristin Krone at 612-968-0177 or [email protected].
About Advance IT Minnesota
Advance IT Minnesota engages employers, educators, technology professionals and learners to develop a more robust IT workforce in Minnesota. A Center of Excellence within the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, it is located at the Metropolitan State University, St. Paul Midway campus. For more information, visit www.advanceitmn.org.
About National Center for Women & Information Technology
The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) is a coalition of over 180 prominent corporations, academic institutions, government agencies, and non-profits working to improve U.S. innovation, competitiveness and workforce sustainability by increasing women’s participation in information technology (IT). To find out more, visit www.ncwit.org.