April 2008 News Release
Janet Bandows Koster
Executive Director, AWIS
Founder and CEO, MentorNet
FOR RELEASE APRIL 10, 2008
THE ASSOCIATION FOR WOMEN IN SCIENCE AND LATINAS IN COMPUTING PARTNER TO PROVIDE STUDENTS ACCESS TO E-MENTORING THROUGH MENTORNET
(Washington, DC, Palo Alto, and San José, CA) – The Association for Women in Science (AWIS) and Latinas in Computing (LiC) are partnering to expand mentoring opportunities to Latina students and professional women in computing via the e-mentoring network MentorNet.
According to the National Science Foundation, the number of U.S. Hispanic women who earned bachelors degrees in computer science has more than doubled since 1977 although their representation in the computing workforce continues to be disproportionately low. In 2003, Latinas represented less than 1 percent of the nearly 2 million employed in computer and information sciences.
One of the key strategies LiC finds critical to increasing the numbers of Latinas in computing related fields is mentoring. Numerous studies have shown that mentoring can provide women and other underrepresented minorities with the guidance they need to succeed, particularly in fields in which they are markedly underrepresented such as science and technology. "Mentoring is a wonderful growth experience for both the protégé and the mentor," notes Gilda Garreton, LiC's co-founder and a researcher at Sun Microsystems Laboratories.
A winner of the Presidential Award for Excellence in STEM Mentoring, AWIS promotes opportunities for development, growth, and support through role models, peer mentoring, and individual and community partnerships." said Janet Bandows Koster, Executive Director. "This partnership is a natural extension of our advocacy and expertise. And, we're particularly pleased to be able to work together through MentorNet, the premier gateway to e-mentoring."
AWIS and MentorNet, another winner of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring, have been longtime partners in enabling AWIS professional members to connect with student-protégé as mentors, and student members to identify appropriate mentors. With a grant from Texas Instruments, MentorNet joined with LiC earlier this year to build a Latinas in Computing portal into its mentoring programs.
As a result of the new partnership, Latina community college, undergraduate, and graduate students, postdocs, and untenured faculty in computing can join AWIS and have free access to MentorNet to take advantage of the One-on-One e-mentoring program.
For more information and to join AWIS, visit www.awis.org
The Association for Women in Science (AWIS) is the premier advocate organization for women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Founded in 1971, AWIS has consistently been in the forefront of building pathways to advancement, better work place environments, and positive educational experiences for women in STEM. By breaking down barriers and creating opportunities, AWIS ensures that women in these fields can achieve their full potential. AWIS is headquartered in Washington, D.C. with chapters throughout the United States. As a multi-disciplinary organization, AWIS is able to leverage and mobilize action on common issues facing women in STEM along the entire educational and career pipeline.
Latinas in Computing (LiC), a community created by and for Latinas in computing related fields, was established in 2006 with the help of the Anita Borg Institute for Women in Technology (ABI), Latinas in Computing provides Latinas in computing related fields with leadership and professional development resources and opportunities to succeed in these fields.
About MentorNet - www.MentorNet.net
MentorNet, headquartered in San José, California, is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization working to further the progress of women and others underrepresented in scientific and technical fields through the use of a dynamic, technology-supported mentoring network. MentorNet aims to advance individuals and society, and enhance engineering and related sciences, by promoting a diversified, expanded and talented global workforce. In partnership with colleges and universities, corporations, government labs and agencies, and professional societies, MentorNet is international in scope, serving students and professionals from all over the world.
MentorNet was recognized in 2001 with the (U.S.) Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring. Major funding is provided by IBM, Intel Foundation, Texas Instruments, Cisco Systems, Hewlett Packard, AT&T, 3M Foundation, Alcoa Foundation, and the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation.