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NCWIT: Why Does Broadening Participation in Computing Matter, and What Can You Do to Help?

Org: National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT)

At NCWIT, we advocate for changing the system, not the individuals. The historical underrepresentation of some groups in computing and engineering stems from systemic exclusion. Exclusionary policies and practices are so baked into the culture of education and the workplace that they often go unseen, especially by people in the majority. Thus, it can appear that individuals from underrepresented groups are not participating at the same levels as individuals from majority groups because they have a deficit of some kind. As a result, well-meaning people often try to help individuals learn how to fit in, how to “lean in” in order to excel. But fixing individuals from underrepresented groups will not change the system for the next generation. In order to shift the status quo and make computing a more equitable field, we need to fix the systems currently in place so that a variety of voices, experiences, and visions create the tech innovations we will use in coming years.

In this blog, we will explain what it means to broaden participation in computing and challenge you to take action. We believe that there is at least one thing every individual can do to change the system.

Departmental, Partnering

Intended Level(s)
Early Career, Elementary School, Graduate, High School, Mid Career, Middle School, Undergraduate

Intended Population
American Indian or Alaska Native, Black or African American, Hispanic, LGBTQ, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, Persons with Disabilities, Women

Program Costs
No Cost

Program Matching Funds Available?

Program Interest Form