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First ‘Aspirations for Women in Computing’ award planned for high school students

Published 9:25am Wednesday, October 10, 2012 Updated 11:27am Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Seeking young women in high school aspiring to careers in technology and computing, nominations accepted through Nov. 16.

Despite holding six in 10 American jobs, women held just 25 percent of computing occupations in 2011. And of the 1.4 million expected openings for computer specialists in 2020, the current number of American graduates can fill only 30 percent.

To help bridge this gender and talent gap, and support, recognize and encourage young women in high school interested in computing and technology, Advance IT Minnesota announces it is hosting the first “Minnesota Aspirations for Women in Computing” award. Advance IT Minnesota is seeking young women in high school across the state with outstanding achievements and aspirations in technology to apply for the award online at www.aspirationsaward.org through Nov. 16.

The Minnesota award honors young women in grades 9-12 for their computing-related achievements and interests.

The National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) created the award in 2007 to encourage the computing aspirations of young women, introduce them to leadership opportunities in the field and generate visibility for women’s participation in computing-related pursuits. This is the first year the award will be hosted in Minnesota, and young women will automatically be entered in the national lever award if they apply by Oct. 31.

“Encouraging the interest of young women in technology is critical: our workforce needs their creativity and innovation,” said Lucy Sanders, CEO and cofounder of NCWIT. “This award helps us recognize and encourage talent that might otherwise be overlooked.”

Awards will be made based on the interests, accomplishments, and community involvement of young women in computing and technology, as well as for their aspirations in computing and technology-related fields. Prizes for the Minnesota award include iPads, cash prizes, and mentorship/job shadowing opportunities at Minnesota technology firms. Winners will be chosen in December and honored during events hosted by Minnesota technology firms in the spring of 2013.

For more information, contact Russell.Fraenkel@metrostate.edu.

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