Women and Information Technology

Google just announced the 2004 winners of the Google Anita Borg Memorial Scolarships. The scholarship was awarded to female undergraduate and graduate students earning computer science degrees during the 2004-05 academic year, who were selected based on academic performance, responses to essay questions, and letters of recommendation. Eight received $10,000 awards; eleven received $1,000 award.

The mission for the Anita Borg Institue for Women and Technology is to increase the impact of women on all aspects of technology, to increase the positive impact of technology on the lives of the world’s women, and to help communities, industry, education and government benefit from these increases.

I first heard about the Anita Borg Institute through my work with the National Center for Women and Information Technology. The Anita Borg Institute is one of the hubs for NCWIT which is headquartered out of the Atlas Institute at the University of Colorado Boulder. NCWIT is run by Lucinda Sanders – the retired CTO of Lucent Bell Labs / Avaya Labs. The NCWIT mission is similar – it is to ensure that women are fully represented in the influential world of information technology. Through a nationally connected effort of programs, networks and research, the Center will work to guarantee that women’s perspectives and skills contribute significantly to the creation and application of information technology.

I’ve been on the board of trustees for about a year, along with some other great people including Marie Alexander – CEO of Quova (one of my portfolio companies). Halley Suitt – who has a great blog called Halley’s Coment – is also involved.

Both NCWIT and the Anita Borg Institute are outstanding organizations being run by people dedicated to increasing and advancing the role of women in the field of information technology. Hats off to everyone involved, and kudos to Google for their support of these initiatives.