Why Sit With Me?

Sometimes you have to sit to take a stand. Sit With Me invites you to validate and recognize the important role women play in creating future technology by taking a small but symbolic action: sit in a red chair and share your story. Pull up a chair and listen to stories from others; men, women, technical and non-technical, as they sit in the red chair.

Sit With Me was created by members of the National Center for Women & Information Technology, a non-profit coalition that works to increase the meaningful participation of girls and women in computing fields and careers.

 

Why This Matters

The reality is that women in computing and IT face significant obstacles. In 2015, women held 57% of all professional occupations, yet they held only 25% of all computing occupations. And the numbers are even lower when considering women of color; for example, Latinas and Black women hold only 1% and 3% of these jobs, respectively. Furthermore, even fewer women are found in software development, technology leadership, or the other kinds of key roles that have a significant influence on future innovation. Consider that 88% of all information technology patents (from 1980–2010) are invented by male-only invention teams while only 2% are invented by female-only invention teams. These and other statistics imply that the technology the world uses today is being created by a relatively homogeneous group of people.

Capitalizing on the power of gender diversity can yield a larger and more competitive computing and IT workforce. Imagine men and women working together to design technology that is as broad and creative as the people it serves.

Women expand the talent pool. Women represent a vast, untapped talent pool that can bolster the technical workforce. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that computer and information technology occupations are projected to grow 12% from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations.

Women improve technical innovation. Groups with greater diversity solve complex problems better and faster than do homogenous groups, and the presence of women is more likely to increase the collective intelligence (problem-solving ability, creativity) of the group.

Women increase your ROI. An investigation of 500 U.S. businesses found that companies with more race and gender diverse teams had higher sales revenue, more customers, greater market share, and greater pro ts than did less diverse companies.