National Center for Women & Information Technology

National Center for Women & Information Technology
Logo of the National Center for Women & Information Technology
FoundedAugust 12, 2004; 15 years ago (2004-08-12)[1]
Typenonprofit organization
Legal status501(c)(3)[2]
FocusWomen in Computing
HeadquartersBoulder, Colorado, U.S.
Area served
MethodAlliances, Research, and Programs
Lucy Sanders[3]
Nancy Phillips[4]
Thaddeus Arroyo[4]
Terry Hogan[3]
Revenue (2018)
Expenses (2018)$6,449,985[5]
Employees (2017)
Volunteers (2017)

The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization[2] that works to increase the meaningful participation of girls and women in computing. NCWIT was founded in 2004 by Lucinda (Lucy) Sanders,[6] Telle Whitney, and Dr. Robert (Bobby) Schnabel.[7] NCWIT is headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, at the ATLAS Institute at the University of Colorado Boulder.[8] Lucy Sanders, who was inducted into the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame in 2007,[9] is the current chief executive officer.


As stated on its website, NCWIT's mission[10] is to:

  • correct the imbalance of gender diversity in technology and computing
  • empower change leaders to recruit, retain and advance women in computing[11]

Key strategies


NCWIT consists of five alliances (K–12, Academic, Workforce, Entrepreneurial, and Affinity Group), and a Social Science Advisory Board.[12] Membership of these alliances is made up of over 575 corporations, academic institutions, startup companies, and non-profits.[13]


NCWIT produces research-based resources which allow member organizations and institutions to make change and raise awareness about the importance of bringing gender diversity to computer science education and the technology industry.[14] These resources advise individuals on how to accomplish reform, implement change, and raise awareness.[15]


The Annual NCWIT Summit brings together hundreds of corporate, academic, start-up, and non-profit change leaders to discuss topics relevant to women in computing. The event includes workshops, meetings, and inspirational speakers.[16]

Programs and campaigns

NCWIT coordinates a variety of programs and campaigns which have several goals. Among them are: supporting changes in K-12 computing curriculum, empowering women in computing to increase their visibility, working with high school women to encourage them to pursue computing careers, and celebrating the successes of female tech entrepreneurs.[17]

Aspirations in computing

NCWIT Aspirations in Computing is a development initiative for young women with aspirations and achievements in computing and information technology. The program consists of an award for high school students as well as a community for college women. It provides women with engagement and encouragement for their computing-related interests from the age range of high school through college and into the workforce.[18][19] Sponsors include AT&T, Bank of America, Bloomberg, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Microsoft, Motorola Solutions Foundation, Northrop Grumman, and Symantec.[20]


The Pacesetters program involves a cohort of NCWIT member organizations who commit to an accelerated increase of technical women at their institutions and workplaces. Corporate, entrepreneurial and academic leaders all work across organizational boundaries to improve the participation of women in tech. Setting two year goals is a part of the program as well as releasing diversity data.[21]


AspireIT is an initiative which enlists high school and college women to design and lead computing programs for middle school girls. Through this program, the leaders develop mentorship skills while simultaneously introducing younger girls to computing.[22]

Extension Services

Extension Services consultants work with computing-related academic department representatives that are eager to increase their diversity. Advice and resources are provided to assist clients in identifying what resources they already have to accomplish their goals, and what new innovating strategies they can pursue.[23]


EngageCSEdu is an online tool that contains thousands of course materials for introductory computer science courses. Educators are able to upload and download materials and access resources and guides for best practices. All materials are peer-reviewed to ensure that they achieve the goal of making computer science higher education accessible to women and other minorities. Google developed EngageCSEdu with NCWIT.[24]

Sit With Me

Sit With Me is a national campaign designed to encourage women in computing careers. An iconic Red Chair is used by Sit With Me to symbolize that women need more seats at the table. It is also a symbol that encourages men and women to sit in support for technical women. The campaign helps create gathering places where the contributions of women in computing can be recognized.[25]

Counselors for Computing (C4C)

NCWIT Counselors for Computing (C4C) provides professional school counselors with information and resources they can use to support all students as they explore computer science education and careers.[26]


TECHNOLOchicas is a national initiative designed to raise awareness among young Latinas and their families about opportunities and careers in technology. Stories are shared by Latinas with different backgrounds and upbringings who are in the tech field, allowing young girls to read these stories and relate to them as role models. These stories are shared through several communication channels, including broadcast television, local events, social media, and online videos.[27]

AspireIT K–12 Outreach Program

NCWIT's AspireIT K–12 Outreach Program consists of national girl-serving organizations, professional educator associations, academic institutions, and businesses all dedicated to giving access to a computer science education for girls in grades K-12. The alliance members work to advance more girls into computing nationwide. K–12 girls who are interested in computing are paired with high school and college women as mentors in order to increase young girls' confidence in computing abilities and leadership skills.[28]


Pioneer in Tech Award

Created in 2012, the NCWIT Pioneer in Tech Award recognizes those individuals who, over the course of their lives and careers, have contributed to changing the way society sees women in technology and computing.[29]


Academic Alliance Seed Fund

Sponsored by Microsoft Research, the Academic Alliance Seed Fund awards startup funding to NCWIT Academic Alliance members for projects and programs designed to recruit and retain women in computing.[30]

Student Seed Fund

Sponsored by Symantec, the Student Seed Fund awards funding to student-run programs that attract and support women in information technology.[31]

Surging Enrollments Seed Fund

The Surging Enrollments Seed Fund is a special call of the NCWIT Academic Alliance Seed Fund. They are various projects that aim to apply practices for recruiting and retaining women in higher education computing, and to track the results of the retention of these women. The primary focus is to also recruit diverse students, so applications from a variety of institutions are accepted.[32]

Symons Innovator Award

Created in 2009 and presented annually, the Symons Innovator Award recognizes a successful female computing entrepreneur. The award is named in honor of Jeanette Symons, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur who died in a plane crash in 2008.[33][34]


Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award

Sponsored by AT&T, the NCWIT Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award honors faculty mentors at NCWIT Academic Alliance institutions who work to mentor, support, and promote women in computing-related fields.[35]

Harrold and Notkin Research and Graduate Mentoring Award

The Harrold and Notkin Research and Graduate Mentoring Award honors faculty who, through research opportunities and mentorship, support women and minority graduate students in computing. The award is named in memory of Mary Jean Harrold and David Notkin.[36]

NCWIT EngageCSEdu Engagement Excellence Award

Funded by Google, the NCWIT EngageCSEdu Engagement Excellence Award recognizes faculty who use certain teaching practices in their introductory computer science classrooms known to better engage students, especially young women and underrepresented groups.[37]

Aspirations in Computing Educator Award

The Aspirations in Computing Educator Award honors educators (both formal and informal) who encourage high school-aged women to pursue their interests in technology careers. Each winner receives $250 in cash and up to $750 for participation in computing-related professional development activities, recognition at a local Affiliate Award event and increased visibility in his or her school district and community, NCWIT resources and promotional items, as well as an engraved award for both the Educator and his or her school.[38]

Collegiate Award

Sponsored by HP and Qualcomm, the NCWIT Collegiate Award honors the technical accomplishments of college women of any year of study through their technical projects that demonstrate a high level of creativity and potential societal impact. The award offers a $10,000 cash prize for up to six college women.[39]

NCWIT & ACM-W Student Seed Fund

The NCWIT & ACM-W Student Seed Fund has invested over $300,000 in more than 150 student run programs since 2011. ACM-W aims to "support, celebrate, and advocate internationally for the full engagement of women in all aspects of the computing field, providing a wide range of programs and services to ACM members and working in the larger community to advance the contributions of technical women."[40]

Reel WiT Award

The Reel WiT Award is presented by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, Google, and NCWIT. This award aspires to change the small percentage of women in tech roles represented in film by recognizing the best portrayal of a leading woman in technology from a program (e.g. documentary, tv show, film, YouTube, etc.) who serves as a role model for girls and women who aspire to work in the tech field. The 2017 Reel WiT Award winner went to Allison Schroeder, who wrote the screenplay for "Hidden Figures".[41]

NCWIT Extension Services Transformation (NEXT) Awards

NCWIT's Extension Services Transformation Awards was created to honor the academic departments that improve recruitment and retention of women in their computing education majors. The departments that qualify for the awards are those who take part in consultations from the NCWIT Extension Services Undergraduate Programs (ES-UP) in order to increase the number of women in their computing-related departments. Two different awards are presented to two winning departments- the first and second place 'Excellence in Promoting Women in Undergraduate Computing' awards. The first place winning department is given $100,000 while the second place is awarded $50,000.[42]

Strategic and investment partners

NCWIT is supported by government and corporate partners from the technology sector and other related sectors. Strategic partners include National Science Foundation, Microsoft, Bank of America, Google, and Intel. Investment partners include Avaya, Pfizer, Merck, Turner Broadcasting Systems, AT&T, Bloomberg, and Hewlett-Packard.[43][44]

See also


  1. ^ "National Center for Women and Information Technology". Colorado Office of the Secretary of State. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c "National Center For Women And Information Technology". Tax Exempt Organization Search. Internal Revenue Service. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Staff and Consultants". National Center for Women & Information Technology. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Board of Directors". National Center for Women & Information Technology. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Form 990: Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax". National Center for Women & Information Technology. Internal Revenue Service. June 30, 2018.
  6. ^ Ericson, Cathie (17 October 2014). "Intrepid Woman: Lucinda (Lucy) Sanders: CEO and Co-founder of the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT)". The Glass Hammer. Evolved People Media LLC. Retrieved 12 November 2014.
  7. ^ "Champions of Change". The White House. Retrieved 12 November 2014.
  8. ^ "National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT)". ATLAS Institute. University of Colorado, Boulder. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  9. ^ "Lucinda Sanders, CEO & Co-Founder, National Center for Women and Information Tech". WITI Hall of Fame. Women in Technology International. 2007. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
  10. ^ NCWIT. "About Us". NCWIT.org. NCWIT. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  11. ^ Dubrow, Aaron (12 December 2014). "Addressing the shortage of women in technology". NSF. NSF. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
  12. ^ "Fact Sheet". National Center for Women & Information Technology. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
  13. ^ McGrath Cohoon, J. (March 2011). "NCWIT Offers Community, Resources, and Results". Computing Research News. Computing Research Association. Retrieved 12 November 2014.
  14. ^ "Resources". National Center for Women & Information Technology. Retrieved 12 November 2014.
  15. ^ Feintuch, Howard. "The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT)". Insight into Diversity. Archived from the original on 30 December 2014. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
  16. ^ Leung, Lily (21 May 2014). "5 takeaways from Chelsea Clinton's O.C. tech conference visit". Orange County Register. Retrieved 12 November 2014.
  17. ^ Frauenheim, Ed (7 February 2005). "Opening doors for women in computing". cNet. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  18. ^ Farmer, Ruthe (30 June 2014). "10 Reasons Why America Needs 10,000 More Girls in Computer Science". The Shriver Report. Retrieved 12 November 2014.
  19. ^ McDonald, Ryan (25 October 2013). "NCWIT program helps high school girls aspire to computer fields". Baltimore Business Journal. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
  20. ^ "Aspirations". National Center for Women & Information Technology. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
  21. ^ Chernos, Alex (1 August 2014). "SpotX and Women in Tech: NCWIT Announces Expansion of Pacesetters Program". Retrieved 12 November 2014.
  22. ^ "NCWIT AspireIT - Early Computing Experiences for Girls, 2014". CGI America. Clinton Global Initiative America. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
  23. ^ Thompson, Leisa D. "Initiatives to Support Systemic Change for Women in Undergraduate Computing" (PDF). Penn Engineering. University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
  24. ^ Johnson, Leslie Yeh. "Engaging the Next Generation of Computer Scientists". Google for Education. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
  25. ^ "David Notkin featured in NCWIT's "Sit With Me" campaign". University of Washington Computer Science and Engineering. University of Washington. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
  26. ^ "National Center for Women Information and Technology". GuideStar. Retrieved 17 November 2017.
  27. ^ "National Center for Women Information and Technology". GuideStar. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  28. ^ "National Center for Women Information & Technology". Guidestar. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  29. ^ Guzdial, Mark. "NCWIT Pioneer Awards to two women of Project Mercury: Following their passions". Computing Education Blog. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
  30. ^ "NCWIT and Microsoft Research Kick Start Academic Programs for Attracting Women to Computing Fields". Microsoft Research. Microsoft Research. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
  31. ^ "WICS is Awarded the NCWIT Student Seed Fund!". Women in Information and Computer Science. University of California Irvine. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
  32. ^ Blair, Bettina. "NCWIT Award Deadlines Extended to 11/6/2017". Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  33. ^ Allday, Erin. "Bay Area exec and son perish in plane crash". SFGate.com. San Francisco Gate. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
  34. ^ "WiTricity CTO Receives NCWIT Symons Innovator Award". WiTricity. WiTricity. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
  35. ^ Blaschke, Jayme. "Computer Science professor honored with research mentoring award". txstate.edu. Texas State. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
  36. ^ "Amato elected to CRA board and co-chairs CRA-W". tamu.edu. The Dwight Look College of Engineering. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
  37. ^ [EarSketch Receives NCWIT Engagement Excellence Award "EarSketch Receives NCWIT Engagement Excellence Award"] Check |url= value (help). Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  38. ^ "Applications Open for NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Awards". Computing Research Association. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  39. ^ "NCWIT Award Recognizes Creativity of Technical Women". All Together. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  40. ^ Carter, Calla. "NCWIT & ACM-W STUDENT SEED FUND GRANT". Sudo Hoot Blog. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
  41. ^ "Vote for a Leading Woman in Technology for the First-Ever Reel WiT Award: NCWIT, Geena Davis, and Google Call for Votes". NewsWire. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
  42. ^ Frawley-Panyard, Nicole. "Five faculty honored for increasing women's participation in computing". Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  43. ^ "NCWIT Supporters". National Center for Women & Information Technology. Retrieved 12 November 2014.
  44. ^ "Chelsea Clinton to Speak at NCWIT Summit". PRWeb.

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