The Center for Women in Technology (CWIT), was established at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) in July 1998. Historical structural barriers have made access to our field more challenging for women. We are motivated to increase the presence of women and other underrepresented communities because we know that diverse perspectives are specifically connected to the achievement of excellence. We are dedicated to providing global leadership in achieving the full participation of students from all backgrounds, regardless of their race, sex, gender, gender identity, and/or national origin. In 2006, the the scope of CWIT’s influence at UMBC expanded to include Engineering majors as well. In July 2011, the name change from The Center for Women and Information Technology captured the twin threads at the center of CWIT – gender diversity and technology – while being broader about the types of technology included.
Diversity, equity and inclusion are integral to the achievement of excellence in our classrooms and laboratories; therefore we are committed to attracting students who will broaden participation in the creation of technology in computing and engineering fields, which will strengthen the workforce. Our programs are designed to support women pursuing degrees and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics but are open to students of any sex, gender, and/or gender identity. These efforts will raise the standard of living for many who have not had access to these careers in the past and help to assure that technology addresses the needs of a community of people across diverse experiences, including, race, culture, sex, gender, gender identity, national origin, and other aspects of social identity.
CWIT’s Relationship to UMBC:
CWIT supports UMBC’s commitment to inclusive excellence at all levels and its efforts to create a campus community rich in intellectual, cultural, and ethnic diversity. CWIT helps the University fulfill this commitment in several ways. First, we target those areas in science, technology, and engineering where there is significant underrepresentation of gender and racial minorities. We attract well-qualified students of all backgrounds to UMBC through special scholarship initiatives such as the CWIT Scholars Program. We then support the academic and professional success of those students, providing a well-prepared, diverse set of graduates who represent UMBC in the tech workforce. We also prepare our students of all backgrounds to be change agents in making their future workplaces more diverse and inclusive. Finally, we work with departments and other campus partners to help make UMBC a welcoming place for all students in engineering and information technology. CWIT also supports the University in its efforts to attract private and public funding to achieve its mission.