IBM Cloud Authors: Zakia Bouachraoui, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan

News Feed Item

470 RI Area High School Girls Explore STEM Careers at GRRL Tech

More than 470 female high school students and 60 educators from 31 Rhode Island area high schools and career and tech centers were welcomed to the University of Rhode Island Kingston campus yesterday to attend Tech Collective’s 12th annual GRRL Tech Interactive Technology Expo.

Presented by Tech Collective, Rhode Island’s industry association for Information Technology and Bioscience, and hosted by the University of Rhode Island, GRRL Tech (Girls Reaching Remarkable Levels) is an interactive technology expo offering female high school students an engaging look into dynamic and rewarding STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) opportunities. Through industry mentoring and hands-on workshops, GRRL Tech aims to raise awareness of the STEM industries and career pathways.

Students attended their choice of two out of 24 workshop offerings designed and conducted by female industry professionals and URI faculty. Workshops explored a variety of STEM fields, ranging from bioscience, animal science, and oceanography to engineering, physics, and computer science. High school faculty attended one workshop and one educators’ session. Workshops were held throughout the URI campus, including in the new Pharmacy and Center for Biotechnology & Life Sciences buildings. More than 60 female industry professionals and university volunteers participated in workshops and helped facilitate the day.

The morning’s Keynote Speaker was Ruthe Farmer, Director of Strategic Initiatives for the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT). A non-profit community of more than 350 organizations, NCWIT works to provide statistics, research, best practices, and a national voice for the increased participation of girls and women in IT and computing. From her role and personal experience, Farmer emphasized that the need for girls in technology goes beyond just filling jobs:

“We need the contribution of girls’ technical minds in order to build the most innovative solutions to solve the global challenges we face as a society,” Farmer said. “Currently, the contributions of women are largely missing from technology and innovation, yet women make up more than half of the populations and workforce, make the bulk of consumer decisions, and are the primary educators of our children. It makes no sense to continue building a technical world with a team that isn’t reflective of the people it serves. We can only dream of the innovative solutions we’ll see when women are equally represented as designers and creators of technology.”

The afternoon closed with the announcement of three GRRL Tech 2013 Scholarship winners:

  • Tinuola Agbelusi, a sophomore at North Providence High School
  • Madison Panell, a junior at Tiverton High School
  • Hannah Waters, a junior at Smithfield High School

Awarding the scholarships – valued at $4,000 per year for four years – were URI’s Dr. Laura Beauvais, Vice Provost of Faculty Affairs and Dr. Dean LiButti, Vice Provost for Enrollment Management. Scholarship winners were selected based on their essay submissions by the GRRL Tech Committee.

Girls in STEM

A recent NCWIT report, Girls in IT: The Facts (Nov. 2012) underscores that while women earn 57% of all undergraduate degrees, only 18% of computer and information science degrees are earned by women. The report also cites estimates by the U.S. Department of Labor that “by 2020 there will be more than 1.4 million computing-related job openings. At current rates, however, we can only fill about 30% of those jobs with U.S. computing bachelor's grads.”

The shortage of women in the workforce is felt across many of the STEM fields. Women fill almost half of all jobs in the United States, yet they fill less than 25% of the STEM jobs, according to Women in STEM: A Gender Gap to Innovation (Aug. 2011), a report by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration.

The low participation of women in the STEM fields has traditionally been attributed to less general awareness of the industry as compared to other occupations or career paths, a lack of female STEM role models, gender barriers and stereotypes, and sometimes workload demands as it relates to personal/family responsibilities. These are all areas GRRL Tech seeks to address.

“The technology industry needs the impact and innovation these young ladies can bring to the table,” said JoAnn Johnson, manager of youth and education programs for Tech Collective. “GRRL Tech aims to inspire that. Of course, not all of the students attending today will pursue STEM careers, but many will walk away with knowledge and maybe even a confidence they may not have had before. That is a success we are proud of as GRRL Tech has become an exciting tradition, not only for the Tech Collective staff, but also for our industry community and local high schools and career and tech centers.”

Sponsors: GRRL Tech is presented by Tech Collective, Rhode Island’s Industry Association for Information Technology and Bioscience. On behalf of all involved, we are grateful to GRRL Tech’s 2013 host, the University of Rhode Island, and its sponsors: IBM®, Atrion Networking Corporation, the Governor’s Workforce Board of Rhode Island and the Rhode Island Job Development Fund, EpiVax, Inc., and Junior Achievement of Rhode Island.

About Tech Collective: Tech Collective is Rhode Island’s Information Technology and Bioscience Industry Association. Uniting industry, government and academic stakeholders, our mission is to inspire, engage, educate and employ a high-skill, high-wage Knowledge Economy in Rhode Island. Since its transition from the Rhode Island Technology Council (RITEC) in 2004, Tech Collective has received more than $8M in federal, state and private grant funding to foster industry collaboration, awareness and development through events and initiatives including: Tech10, GRRL Tech, Women in Technology, Bio-Ed, and STEM-based education and training programs for K-16 students as well as incumbent and transitioning workers. Get connected to Tech Collective at www.tech-collective.org, on Facebook (TechCollectiveRI), and on Twitter (@Tech_Collective).

More Stories By Business Wire

Copyright © 2009 Business Wire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Business Wire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Business Wire. Business Wire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
The platform combines the strengths of Singtel's extensive, intelligent network capabilities with Microsoft's cloud expertise to create a unique solution that sets new standards for IoT applications," said Mr Diomedes Kastanis, Head of IoT at Singtel. "Our solution provides speed, transparency and flexibility, paving the way for a more pervasive use of IoT to accelerate enterprises' digitalisation efforts. AI-powered intelligent connectivity over Microsoft Azure will be the fastest connected pat...
There are many examples of disruption in consumer space – Uber disrupting the cab industry, Airbnb disrupting the hospitality industry and so on; but have you wondered who is disrupting support and operations? AISERA helps make businesses and customers successful by offering consumer-like user experience for support and operations. We have built the world’s first AI-driven IT / HR / Cloud / Customer Support and Operations solution.
Codete accelerates their clients growth through technological expertise and experience. Codite team works with organizations to meet the challenges that digitalization presents. Their clients include digital start-ups as well as established enterprises in the IT industry. To stay competitive in a highly innovative IT industry, strong R&D departments and bold spin-off initiatives is a must. Codete Data Science and Software Architects teams help corporate clients to stay up to date with the mod...
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...
Druva is the global leader in Cloud Data Protection and Management, delivering the industry's first data management-as-a-service solution that aggregates data from endpoints, servers and cloud applications and leverages the public cloud to offer a single pane of glass to enable data protection, governance and intelligence-dramatically increasing the availability and visibility of business critical information, while reducing the risk, cost and complexity of managing and protecting it. Druva's...
BMC has unmatched experience in IT management, supporting 92 of the Forbes Global 100, and earning recognition as an ITSM Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader for five years running. Our solutions offer speed, agility, and efficiency to tackle business challenges in the areas of service management, automation, operations, and the mainframe.
The Jevons Paradox suggests that when technological advances increase efficiency of a resource, it results in an overall increase in consumption. Writing on the increased use of coal as a result of technological improvements, 19th-century economist William Stanley Jevons found that these improvements led to the development of new ways to utilize coal. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Thiele, Chief Strategy Officer for Apcera, compared the Jevons Paradox to modern-day enterprise IT, examin...
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors! In this blog post, we provide 7 tips on how, as part of our world-class faculty, you can deliver one of the most popular sessions at our events. But before reading...
DSR is a supplier of project management, consultancy services and IT solutions that increase effectiveness of a company's operations in the production sector. The company combines in-depth knowledge of international companies with expert knowledge utilising IT tools that support manufacturing and distribution processes. DSR ensures optimization and integration of internal processes which is necessary for companies to grow rapidly. The rapid growth is possible thanks, to specialized services an...
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...