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Diversity in the Internet2 Communit y. Discussion and Working Session Internet2 Member Meeting Monday, April 22, 2013 Laurie Burns McRobbie, Indiana University. Agenda. Welcome and Session Overview Current Research STEM data Root causes Why it matters Resources

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Diversity in the Internet2 Community

Discussion and Working Session

Internet2 Member Meeting

Monday, April 22, 2013

Laurie Burns McRobbie, Indiana University


  • Welcome and Session Overview

  • Current Research

    • STEM data

    • Root causes

    • Why it matters

  • Resources

  • Member Experiences, Initiatives, Best Practices

  • Internet2 Actions


U.S. Women as % Total STEM Degrees, 1980 – 2007

24  41%

42  60%

9  19%

42  44%

49  57%

37  19%

David Bressoud, National Center for Education Statistics. 1990–2009. Digest of Education Statistics. US Department of Education. nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/

Reck, IU Dept. of Chemistry, 2013

Root Causes

  • Unconscious bias


Schemas: Non-conscious Hypotheses

  • Expectations or stereotypes influence our judgments of others (regardless of our own group).

  • Gender:

    • Men judging women; women judging women

    • Men and women BOTH downplay the contributions of women

  • Race/ethnicity

    • Whites judging minorities; minorities judging minorities

    • Whites and minorities BOTH downplay the contributions of minorities

  • Unconscious bias is NOT discrimination

Schmelz, CSWA, American Astronomical Society, 2013

Root Causes

  • Unconscious bias

    • Schemas

    • Yale study

  • Stereotype threat


Stereotype Threat

  • the anxiety women face in a situation where they have the potential to confirm a negative stereotype about women as a group.

    • This anxiety alone can result in documented cases of lower scores on standardized math tests.

  • Highly competent women may also face impostor syndrome where they find it impossible to believe in their own competence.

    • They live with a fear of being discovered.

Schmelz, CSWA, American Astronomical Society, 2013

Root Causes

  • Unconscious bias

    • Schemas

    • Yale study

  • Stereotype threat

    • Math anxiety

    • Imposter syndrome

    • Perceptions about women’s spatial skills

  • Lack of female role models for identity formation

  • Nature of computing culture


College Computing Culture

  • “Lone male geek” stereotype

  • First year skill levels

    • Men are more likely to have well-developed skills in programming

    • Women are more likely to have multiple interests, may have less “time on task” towards programming mastery

  • First year programming courses

    • Solo work… and women tend to prefer collaborative, team-based learning environments


Why is this important?

  • Equity

    • IT jobs pay well, opportunities for advancement

    • Wage gap is smaller in IT professions

  • Skilled labor shortages

    • 1.4 million IT job openings 2008-2018

    • Two-thirds of these may go unfilled

  • Health of the IT sector itself

    • Women improve technical innovation

    • Women increase a company’s ROI



  • Jane Margolis, “Unlocking the Clubhouse: Women in Computing”. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2002

  • AAUW, “Why So Few?” Research report, 2010http://www.aauw.org/research/why-so-few/

  • NSF Reports on Women in STEM

  • Girls Scouts Research Reports, Generation STEM, 2012http://www.girlscouts.org/research/publications/stem/

  • National Center for Women in IT, Resourceshttp://www.ncwit.org/resources



  • Nonprofit community with 450 companies, universities, government agencies, other nonprofits

  • Focused on increasing women’s participation in technology and computing

  • K-12, higher education, industry, entrepreneurism

  • “Community, evidence, and action”

  • Based in Boulder, CO


NCWIT Pacesetters

NCWIT Pacesetters is a fast-track program in which senior executives from startups, corporations, universities, and government commit to increasing their numbers of technical women. Pacesetters organizations work to recruit previously untapped talent pools of technical women and retain women who are at risk of leaving, resulting in "net new" women for their organizations.


Aetna, AT&T, Bank of America, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Carnegie Mellon University, Cisco Systems, Facebook, Georgia Tech, Google, Intel, Indiana University, Michigan Tech, Microsoft, Purdue, Qualcomm, University of Nebraska, Return Path, Symantec, Syracuse University, University of California at Irvine, University of California Santa Cruz, University of Texas at Austin, University of Virginia, University of Washington, Villanova, Virginia Tech


Indiana University: ServeIT

  • IT clinic serving area nonprofits

    • “Technology for social good”

    • Teams of interns

    • Crosses semesters

    • Partnership among multiple schools and with community stakeholders

  • Opened January 2011

    • 23 interns; now 46

    • 6 teams; now 10

    • 26 organizations served in past two years

  • Diversity profile exceeds School’s

  • http://serveit.soic.indiana.edu


Indiana University: CEWIT

Faculty- networking, CEWIT Salons, promote advancement of women across disciplines, leadership, mentoring, etc.

Students – degree decision support, networking, mentoring, scholarships, activities, WE-SIT




Staff- Networking, professional development, leadership, advancement, mentoring, WIT


Internet2 Actions

  • Form an official initiative to create visibility around the issue of diversity in the national networking community

    • Internet2 as a champion and sponsor

  • Partner with other organizations working in this area

    • National Center for Women in IT (NCWIT)

    • Educause?

    • Others?


Internet2 Actions

  • Provide a central repository (or links to others) for member best practices in recruiting and retaining women and minorities

    • NSF’s ADVANCE programhttp://www.nsf.gov/crssprgm/advance/index.jsp

    • Information about member initiatives and programs

  • Explore sponsored programs, such as internships, assessment projects, workshops, etc.

  • Sponsor regular presentations and discussions at Internet2 Member Meetings and other gatherings


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