Harvard University Aims to Boost Women in Its Information Technology Workforce

Donna Tremonte with Sandy Silk

Nationwide, women make up 26 percent of the information technology workforce. At Harvard University, women are 35 percent of the information technology workforce.

And the university aims to move the needle closer to gender equality. In 2018, the university launched the Harvard Women in Technology + Allies Mentoring Program. The program’s objective is to make Harvard a more engaged and inclusive community by increasing retention and promotion of those in IT roles, providing coaching and career-development tools, and empowering members in their workspace.

Donna Tremonte, HarvardWIT+ founder and engagement manager for the Harvard Kennedy School, notes that “the program had some immediate tangible results, with two of our mentees receiving promotions and giving credit to the support and encouragement of their mentors. Mentorship is key to career advancement, and HarvardWIT+ is glad to facilitate these connections across the University.”

Sandy Silk, mentor program lead and Harvard’s director of information security education and consulting, also noted that career progression was only one facet of the program’s success. “When we compared pre- and post-program survey responses, we measured an 82 percent increase in feeling supported to explore a next career step and a 67 percent increase in confidence to self-advocate,” she said. “Participants said the mentoring program gave them the support and confidence to take the chance on themselves.”

Filed Under: STEM Fields


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