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Women in Computing

In September 2017, Drexel University’s College of Computing & Informatics (CCI) launched a major strategic initiative to grow the number of women students across the College. The Women in Computing Initiative is centered on the recruitment and retention of women in undergraduate majors, with the expressed goal of increasing women students in CCI by 50% in five years. To achieve this objective, CCI is poised to lead a cadre of partners at this seminal moment in the history of technology and education. Dean and Isaac L. Auerbach Professor Yi Deng, PhD, is sending a bold message about the future of computing not only in CCI, but across higher education and industry. “With the ever-increasing need for technology talent across industries, and the invaluable perspective and skills that women bring to the field, we cannot afford to ignore the current imbalance in our classrooms and in the workforce,” says Dean Deng. “We will work with our University, College, and industry colleagues and partners to address this need head on, in building robust programs and resources that are both scalable and sustainable.”

Setting forth a rigorous strategy grounded in in the analysis and assessment of data, CCI has identified several key areas of focus for the program.

  • A strengthened pipeline of women students will be established through new and reinvigorated relationships with high school and two-year colleges, as well as through an enhanced approach to recruitment and marketing driven by deepened engagement and targeted messaging.
  • The creation of 100 scholarships for women pursuing information and technology education at CCI will serve as the foundation of expanded financial support and increased access.
  • Innovations in curriculum and pedagogy coupled with expanded student support systems will ensure an inclusive culture that advances and encourages the social and professional development of all CCI students, while purposefully fostering retention and bolstering college-wide interactions of women students and faculty members. “It’s really important for women to inspire and motive each other—especially in a fast-changing industry like technology,” says Farheen Zehra, Class of 2018 Computer Science student.

CCI is devoted to engaging the creative and professional potential in every woman, no matter their prior experiences or aspirations with technology. “Research shows that culture is very important, and we are committed to creating a culture across all levels of our College that is welcoming and inclusive,” says Gabriela Marcu, PhD, Assistant Professor, Information Science. At CCI, women find support and empowerment in a community of faculty, students and professional staff committed to student success as they explore the comprehensive, leading-edge curriculum of one of the nation’s most dynamic, collaborative and innovative colleges. Comprised of a diverse mix of ethnicities, cultural identities, religious backgrounds and socioeconomic statuses, the CCI community brings to life everyday invaluable perspective and insight into the modern landscape of computer and information sciences.