Center for Women and Information Technology
The Center for Women and Information Technology (CWIT) was established at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) in July 1998, dedicated to providing global leadership in achieving women's full participation in all aspects of information technology (IT) and engineering. Women's participation in IT and Engineering will strengthen the workforce, raise the standard of living for many women, and help to assure that technology addresses women's needs and expands the possibilities for their lives. CWIT supports UMBC's commitment to diversity at all levels and its efforts to create a campus community rich in intellectual, cultural, and ethnic diversity. CWIT helps the University achieve its regional and national mission by identifying those areas in science, technology, and engineering where women are significantly underrepresented, attracting well-qualified female students to UMBC through special scholarship initiatives such as the CWIT Scholars Program, and working with departments and other campus partners to help make UMBC a welcoming place for women in engineering and information technology.
The Center for Women in Technology (CWIT) is dedicated to increasing the STEM representation of women in creating technology and in engineering and information technology fields. CWIT efforts begin with nurturing a strong group of Scholars, grow to building community resources for other women in these majors, extend to fostering a healthy gender climate and ITE pedagogy in College of Engineering and Information Technology (COEIT) departments, and expand into outreach efforts to increase interest in technical careers. A successful program for female-friendly engineering and information technology education at UMBC will help make UMBC a destination for women (and men) interested in technical careers and serve as a national model for other universities.
Industry Mentoring Program: CWIT’s Industry Mentoring Program connects CWIT Scholars, who are in their junior year of study, with an industry mentor for at least one calendar year. Mentors inspire Scholars to think about the range of work options available and to actively support their career exploration, professional development, and networking in their field and/or industry.
CWIT Scholars: CWIT Scholars receive four-year scholarships ranging from $5,000 – $15,000 per academic year for in-state students, and from $10,000 – $22,000 per academic year for out-of-state students, to cover full tuition, mandatory fees, and other expenses. Each CWIT Scholar participates in special courses and activities and receive mentoring from faculty and participating members of the IT and engineering communities.
The CWIT Living Learning Community (LLC) provides opportunities for women and men majoring in an IT or engineering discipline to bond with other students in the same field and create lasting support networks.
The CWIT Affiliates Program, sponsored by Lockheed Martin in 2011-2012, exists to facilitate a strong sense of community and connection among the 450+ women in the College of Engineering and Information Technology. CWIT Affiliates have the opportunity to participate and benefit from opportunities like the Annual Affiliates Retreat and peer mentoring.
Bits and Bytes: Each year, about 20-30 academically talented high school juniors are invited to an overnight visit at UMBC and are hosted by the CWIT Scholars and Affiliates in CWIT’s Living Learning Community. The program supports CWIT’s mission to encourage and support women to be leaders in Information Technology and Engineering fields.