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New IU center calls for more women in technology fields

CEWiT is an interdisciplinary collaboration to increase women's participation in tech-related fields.

Indiana University has established a new center focused on advancing women in technology.

The Center of Excellence for Women in Technology (CEWiT) is an interdisciplinary collaboration addressing the national need to increase women's participation at all stages in technology-related fields. The center also promotes connections, collaborations, and professional development of its affiliate members.

CEWiT will officially launch this October, hosting a variety of events for faculty, staff, and students -- culminating with a talk on Oct. 28 featuring Dr. Moira Gunn, host of NPR's Tech Nation and BioTech Nation radio shows.

The overarching goal of CEWiT is to encourage, empower, and promote IU women. Affiliates represent disciplines and schools such as computing, informatics, computational science, technology, fine arts, psychological and brain sciences, education, business, and mathematics.

The center's interdisciplinary, unified approach upholds IU as a national model for empowering women in IT and computing related fields. Ultimately, CEWiT is an alliance focused on three key pillars:

•    Women Empowering Success in Technology (WESiT), a student organization for women interested in using and learning more about technology and related careers
•    IU Women in Information Technology (IUWIT), made up of IU staff members who work in or are interested in technology
•    The Faculty Alliance, a faculty group representing a variety of disciplines that connect with technology to promote collaborations, connections, and advancement

"The number of women entering information technology (IT) and other STEM careers is shrinking," said Sue Workman, associate vice president of client services and support at IU. "CEWiT will help women in the field, and those interested in entering the field, be prepared for successful careers in IT."

CEWiT's long-term goals include increasing the number of women working in technical fields, forming strong networks, and building a pipeline in the computing workforce.

"We hope to elevate the presence of this opportunity," said Maureen Biggers, assistant dean for diversity and education in the School of Informatics and Computing and CEWiT's interim director. "We want IU women to be aware of and attracted to one of the fastest growing job areas in the US."

To learn more about CEWiT, visit cewit.indiana.edu.