The Maryland Center for Women in Computing
The Maryland Center for Women in Computing (MCWIC) works to increase diversity in all fields of computing by providing a variety of opportunities for women and other underrepresented minorities to engage and contribute to the technical community through research, education, outreach, and partnerships.
Mission and Goals
The Maryland Center for Women in Computing (MCWIC) works to increase diversity in all fields of computing by providing opportunities for individuals who identify as women to engage and contribute to the technical community through research, education, outreach, and partnerships. MCWIC envisions a vibrant community of scholars, researchers, students and others coming together to increase the involvement—and success—of all women interested in earning or currently pursuing a computing degree.
Why support Women in Computing?
- While women have been at the forefront of many exciting moments in the history of computing only three women have ever won the prestigious Turing Award.
- According to NCWIT, 57% of all 2014 bachelor's degree recipients were women. Only 17% of all computer and information science bachelor’s degree students went to women. (NCWIT- By the Numbers 2016)
- There has been a 21% increase in the number of first-year undergraduate women interested in majoring in Computer Science between 2000-2015. (NCWIT- By the Numbers 2016)
- At the University of Maryland, 18% of our undergraduate students are women majoring in computer science. Currently, 46.1% of the undergraduate students at the university are women.
How Are We Bringing More Extraordinary Women Into Computing?
The Maryland Center of Women in Computing
- Supports, educates and mentors women majoring in computing fields at the University of Maryland
- Collaborates with the K-12 community in order to to encourage all students especially those from underrepresented populations to participate in computing
- Sustains a vibrant community of scholars, researchers, students and educators working together to increase the involvement—and success—of women interested in earning a computer science and other technical degrees
- Fosters a supportive, collaborative community for current undergraduate and graduate women studying computing at the university through a dedicated learning and meeting space
The Center is supported by the University of Maryland’s Department of Computer Science, the University’s Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS), and the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences (CMNS). Additional support comes from our corporate sponsors.
Learn more about our specific programs below.
View the MCWIC Flyer
For over 20 years, efforts to support women in computing were apparent at the University of Maryland. Many of these programs centered around the formation of the Association for Women in Computing (AWC), Computer Science Women, and later our outreach programs. As each of these programs grew and expanded, it was clear a unified center was needed to capture the effort to bring more women into the field of computing and further grow the computing pipeline. As a way to formalize the important work being done by these organizations the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences (CNMS), The Department of Computer Science, and the University’s Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS), worked together to form the Maryland Center for Women in Computing (MCWIC) in 2014.
We offer a series of outreach programs for K–12 girls aimed to spark an interest in computer science at an early age, showing them that it is both fun and accessible. These programs include an immersive multi-year curriculum for middle school girls, designed to catalyze and sustain their interest in technology. University of Maryland undergraduates serve as student ambassadors and aspirational peers. Participants learn the mechanics behind social media, the importance of cybersecurity, and why computer science is essential to almost any career that demands critical thinking and decision-‐making skills.
Retention programs specific to the University of Maryland that support female computer science majors throughout their undergraduate and graduate experience. This includes scholarships, mentoring and peer networking opportunities, along with workshops that allow female computer science majors to see firsthand the breadth and options available to them in industry and academia. The center also works to build community. The MCWIC lounge is availible for female computing students to gather, share ideas, and interact with peers and mentors.
Fall and Spring Semester Outreach Programs
STEM/Robotics K-12 Outreach General Request Forms
Weekly Elementary & Middle School Outreach in PGCPS
Ladies Navigate Computer Science- High School Recruitment Event for Women interested in computing
JumpStart Computing Workshop at UMD
High School Computing Workshops at UMD
Girls Who Code - UMD Chapter
Rise-Up 4 CS - Maryland
Project Rise Up 4 CS helps underrepresented (Hispanic, African American, American Indian) women pass the Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science A course and exam. You must be enrolled in an AP CS A (Java) during the 2019-2020 school year to apply. https://go.umd.edu/RiseUpInterest
Cyber Girls Ambassadors
CS-Related Student Organizations
- Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI)
- Multicultural Involvement & Community Advocacy (MICA)
- Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender Equity Center (LGBT Equity Center)
- Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Education (OMSE)
- Counseling Center
- UMD Help Center
- Women in Engineering
- Center for Minorities in Science and Engineering (CMSE)
- NCWIT- What makes electronic mentoring effective?- a review and case study of how and why to use electronic mentoring
- MentorNet- the award-winning nonprofit e-mentoring network that addresses the retention and success of those in engineering, science and mathematics, particularly but not exclusively women and other underrepresented groups.
- Systers- a technical forum by the Anita Borg Institute( ABI) used to build community across all women in computing.
- ABI Curriculum Series- explore modules in these series to grow professionally as a women in computing
- The Imposter Phenomenon in High Achieving Women: Dynamics and Therapeutic Intervention- the original article by Clance and Ames that address the imposter syndrome in women.
- Feel like a fraud?- understanding the Imposter Syndrome from the American Psychology Association (Kristen Weir)
- How Not to Suffer from Imposter Syndrome- lessons and advice on imposter syndrome and confidence from Hackbright Academy
- 10 Actionable Ways to Increase Diversity in the Workplace- research conducted by NCWIT shows way to increase diversity in the workplace
- Reducing Stereotype Threat- resources and review on stereotype threat
- Diversity in Tech: Tackling Unconconscious Bias- overview of unconconsscious bias and its impact on the workforce by Capterra
- Project Implicit- resources and a test to better understand implicit bias from the non-profit association Project Implicit
- How to Retain Women in Technology- infographic by the ABI
Building the Pipeline
- Engage CSEdu- NCWIT's effective ways to teach computer science
- CSMatters- initiative to develop computer science curriculum and train teachers
- CS for All- initiative of the White House to encourage all students to explore computer science
Facts and Figures on Women in Computing
- NSF Report on Women, Minorities, and Person Disabilities- NSF site provides statistical information about the participation of these three groups in science and engineering education and employment
- NCWIT: Women in Tech-The Facts- quick highlight of the trends around women in computing.
- NCWIT: By the Numbers - brief infographic on facts and figures about women in computing and technology
- NCWIT: Girls In Tech- report on the status of girls in computing including barriers to entry
- 33 Facts about Women in Technology- interesting facts on powerful women in technology
- Women in Science, Engineering, Technology, and Math- Why are there so Few?- report by the AAUW
- Women in the Technology Workforce - infographic by WomenWhoTech
Women Faculty in Computing at UMD
UMD is proud to support female faculty in computing. Faculty represented here come from a variety of disciplines including Computer Science, Computer Engineering and Information Studies. Female faculty and graduate students often meet and collaborate through the group CS Women.
Dr. Katy Newton Lawley (iSchool)
Dr. Jennifer J. Preece (iSchool)