Educators, students and IT industry experts will convene at Cal Poly Pomona’s College of Business Administration for the “Women in IT: Why You Should Become One” symposium.
Hosted by the Mitchell C. Hill Center for Applied Business Information Technology (MCHABIT), the one-day event Friday, Jan. 29 aims to explore trends in tech fields for women.
“Research has shown the disparity of women in professional computing gets worse each year,” says Drew Wang, director of MCHABIT. “We know there’s a problem and, hopefully, events like this help in finding a solution.”
The symposium will feature testimonials from industry insiders about the benefits of working in the tech sector and how to break into the profession and excel.
According to the United States Department of Labor, 57 percent of professional occupations were held by women, but females represented only 26 percent of professional computing positions. Statistics also show that a dismal 6 percent of corporate chief information officer posts were filled by women.
Tamara White, a data and analytics group manager with Avanade, and Chetana Ballman, a digital customer manager with Avanade, will be the keynote speakers.
Avanade is a joint venture between Accenture and Microsoft to serve an untapped market for Microsoft-focused consulting services. It was founded in 2000 by Cal Poly Pomona alumnus Mitchell C. Hill before his sudden death in 20014.
“One of many great things Mr. Hill left the university was an outstanding relationship with a billion-dollar company and industry leader,” Hwang says. “Our students are benefiting with the opportunity to hear from women who have successfully reached the upper echelons of the IT profession.”
Also presenting at the event is Ruth Guthrie, the author of “Profiles of Women in Information Technology” and a professor in the CBA’s computer information systems department. She’ll be followed by fellow CIS Professor Sonya Zhang, who spent seven years as a software engineer, and Anna Carlin, the CBA’s chief advisor for CIS majors.
An afternoon forum is scheduled for female students majoring in technology studies to explore available resources and assess expectations after graduation. Attendees will also have a chance to speak face-to-face with guests during a networking session.