Scholarship Fund Targets Women in Technology Programs
Albany, N.Y. (June 4, 2012) - In an effort to raise awareness of the need to recruit and retain more women in the technology fields, Excelsior College today announced the creation of a scholarship for aspiring women technologists. Once the endowment threshold is reached, the "Dr. Jane LeClair Scholarship Fund for Women in Technology" will annually award a financial stipend to a woman entering or continuing in an Excelsior technology program.
"Since coming to academia, I have spent considerable time trying to raise awareness to the challenges that women face in the technology fields – obstacles that I experienced firsthand working for over two decades in the nuclear industry," said Dr. Jane LeClair, dean of Excelsior College's School of Business and Technology and herself a 1994-1995 graduate of Excelsior. "Through this scholarship, we will be able to recognize the achievements of students successfully balancing work and educational achievement and help offset the costs of their academic pursuits."
Excelsior is currently seeking endowment donors. Interested individuals, groups, and corporations may contact Marcy Stryker, Excelsior College Director of Development, at 518-608-8287 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
According to the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), 56 percent of women leave the technology fields by mid-career. With the Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasting significant growth in technology jobs over the next decade – by 2018 demand for nuclear power technicians alone is expected to grow by 19 percent – recruiting and retaining women in the technology fields will be essential to bridging the labor gap.
Dr. LeClair says that an increased effort by academic institutions will not be enough to solve this complex problem – industries will have to determine other solutions as well.
"We hope this scholarship will serve as a source of inspiration to other colleges to join in the cause and help produce the next generation of women engineers, scientists and technologists," concluded Dr. LeClair. "We can solve the retention problem by working with companies to foster a collaborative work environment and culture that keeps women in the field."