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May 27, 2005


Baltimore, MD. -- For the first time, technology leaders from 22 countries and six continents will gather to explore concrete ways in which access by girls and women to technology can be increased in order to effect economic, social and political change. The First International Symposium on Women and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) will convene on Sunday, June 12 through June 14. Participants from developing and developed countries will include leaders from business, government, non-government agencies and education.

Through the exchange of ideas and experiences, the symposium's organizers expect to create an action agenda to significantly increase the international participation of girls and women in ICT - including leadership of women in technology business - in the next five years.

The symposium was organized and is co-hosted by the Center for Women and Information Technology (CWIT) at the University of Maryland, Baltimore Country (UMBC), the World Trade Center Institute, the World Bank and Women in Global Science and Technology; it is held in cooperation with the ACM (Association of Computer Machinery).

"This is an important time for women and technology," said Claudia Morrell, CWIT's executive director. "ICTs for girls and women will either become a new tool for increased access to education, economics, and social equity or it will create a new form of discrimination. In either case, the ramifications for all of us are vast. The symposium will address topics that we know need exploring, and we have sought out the world's leading authorities to discuss current hurdles and possible solutions."

Among the speakers will be authorities on ICT and the global economy, including widely published authors Jo Sanders, Sue Rosser and Sophia Huyer, as well as corporate leaders from North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Commission for Women, Ellen Sauerbrey, is the honorary Chair. She and Freeman Hrabowski, president of UMBC, will be keynote speakers at the plenary session at 8:30 a.m., Monday, June 13.

"AT&T is proud to sponsor such a robust effort to universally address the technology needs of girls and women," said Jennifer Jones, AT&T Business Sales Center Vice President. "Information is power, and this type of collaboration offers a catalyst for change."

The meeting will be held at Baltimore's World Trade Center (401 E. Pratt Street) and the Renaissance Harborplace Hotel (202 E. Pratt Street).

Major sponsors of the symposium include: platinum sponsor Dell and gold sponsors Microsoft, AT&T, SM Consulting, HP, Xerox, Lockheed Martin, the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development and the National Science Foundation.

Media Contacts: Sue Hartt

Mike Lurie
Cell: 443-695-0262

About UMBC and CWIT:
The University of Maryland, Baltimore County is a research university noted for its commitment to furthering the opportunities of women and minorities – especially in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Strong commitment from the highest levels is exemplified by the Meyerhoff Scholarship Program, which received the first Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring, and participation in the National Science Foundation's ADVANCE program, which is aimed at increasing the participation of women in the scientific and engineering workforce through representation and advancement of women in STEM careers.

CWIT's programs - all designed to increase the number of women in information technology - include initiatives in schools to introduce middle-school girls to computer technology and engineering, and the CWIT Scholars Program, a merit scholarship program for talented undergraduates majoring in computer science, computer engineering, information systems, or a related program at UMBC. CWIT also provides programs for women in the workforce, including supporting women as technology entrepreneurs through the ACTiVATE program.

As a result of these and other efforts, UMBC was recently named one of the nation's 12 "Hot Schools" by Kaplan/Newsweek's "How to Get Into College" guide and as one CosmoGIRL's top 50 colleges for women.

Press Kit Materials:

Presskit materials and additional background documents are linked below for downloading or viewing as a PDF file. If you have trouble opening or viewing these documents, please contact UMBC News at 410-455-5793.


Presentation Abstracts & Speaker Bios

Posted by crose at May 27, 2005 10:10 AM