Women In IT Symposium Headed to CBA Jan. 29

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Educators, students and IT industry experts are set to gather at Cal Poly Pomona’s College of Business Administration for Women In IT: Why You Should Become One.

Hosted by the Mitchell C. Hill Center for Applied Business Information Technology (MCHABIT), Women In IT is a one-day event organized to share and discuss trends in women pursuing careers in tech fields.

“Research has shown the disparity of women in professional computing gets worse each year,” MCHABIT director Drew Hwang says. “We know there’s a problem and hopefully events like this help in finding a solution.”

Women in IT will feature testimonies from industry insiders about not only the benefits of working in tech, but also how to crack into the profession and excel past the rest of the field.

According to the United States Department of labor, while 57 percent of professional occupations were held by women, females represented only 26 percent of professional computing positions. It also says a dismal 6 percent of corporate chief information officer chairs were filled by women.

Highlighting the roster of speakers is Tamara White, a data and analytics group manager with Avanade and Chetana Ballman, a digital customer manager with Avanade.

Avanade is a joint venture between Accenture and Microsoft to serve an untapped market for Microsoft-focused consulting services. It was founded in 2000 by Cal Poly Pomona alumnus Mitchell C. Hill before his untimely death in 20014.

“One of many great things Mr. Hill left the university was an outstanding relationship with a billion-dollar company and industry leader,” Hwang says. “Our students are benefiting with the opportunity to hear from women that have successfully reached the upper echelons of the IT profession.”

Also presenting at the Jan. 29 event is Ruth Guthrie, the author of “Profiles of Women in Information Technology” and a professor in the CBA’s computer information systems department. She’ll be followed by fellow CIS professor Sonya Zhang who spent seven years as a software engineer and Anna Carlin who is the CBA's chief advisor for CIS majors.

Women In IT is scheduled to have an afternoon forum for females majoring in technology studies to touch on available resources and what to expect after graduation. Attendees will also have a chance to speak face-to-face with guests during a networking session.

For more informationon the Women In IT symposium, download the event flier or visit http://www.mchabit.org/Women-in-IT-2016