"You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore."
--
UnknownThis month's cover story proves that much is indeed being discovered by what some call a growing minority: women in upper management.

Just how fast this minority is growing continues to be the topic of some debate. When Indra Nooyi accepted PepsiCo's offer as CEO, she became No. 2 among female CEOs at Fortune 500 firms, boosting the ranks of women at the top of large companies to 11.

Catalyst, a New York nonprofit research and advocacy organization that studies women at work, reports that in 2005, women held 16.4% of general corporate officer positions (those appointed or elected by the board) up just 0.7% of one percentage point from 2002.

Yet some prior research from Catalyst reveals that companies across all industries stand to reap benefits from women in management. In fact, the group reports that Fortune 500 companies with the highest percentages of women corporate officers yielded, on average, a 35.1% higher return on equity and 34% higher total return to shareholders than those with the lowest percentages of women corporate officers.

What about women in insurance technology management? As you'll learn from the following individual profiles, no one can debate the fact that women are making a solid contribution to the insurance industry.

In this exclusive coverage, INN presents profiles of six women in insurance technology management whose love of the industry and pursuit of industry excellence, leadership and professional performance has fostered more than just a positive return to shareholders-their influence has the potential to redefine the insurance services landscape.

PROFILE:

Judy Campbell
Senior Vice President and CIO
New York Life Insurance Co.

Confidence and enthusiasm are two words Judy Campbell uses to describe what it takes for a woman to succeed in insurance and technology. "You have to be able to be confident in what it is you know but enthusiastic about what you don't know," she says.

However, enthusiasm in the workplace, Campbell says, is often hard to come by in women. "Women sometimes think if they're acting enthusiastic, they're less than professional, and I think they have to overcome that," she says.

Campbell has done just that. She enthusiastically describes some of her greatest achievements-the most important being her children. "I was divorced when my kids were five, seven and nine years old. I was a single mother their whole lives and still managed to be successful without doing too much damage to them-of course you'd have to ask them that," she jokes. "But they're pretty successful young women now; that I can say."

Helping women find success doesn't stop in Campbell's home. She, along with Sheila Davidson and Jessie Colgate-senior-level women at New York Life-started a women's leadership project at the company about five years ago. The project includes Q&A sessions, lunches and other activities to enable women just beginning their careers or those striving in the middle management ranks to interact with senior-level women and discuss their careers and leadership potential.

"We had a wonderful speaker who talked about Eleanor Roosevelt's leadership style - it was just thrilling, and we've done a lot of that (kind of thing)."

Management Style

When it comes to a woman's ability to manage, Campbell says, at the risk of sounding sexist, women are better managers than men. "As daughters and mothers and sisters, we learn how to listen a lot better early on in our life," she says, adding that some men have mothers or fathers who really teach them how to listen. "But in most cases women have had to do that because of societal norms in the environment. We listen and hear everybody's perspective-we may not necessarily understand it, but we do listen to it, and we usually let it influence where we're going to go."

Listening to everyone's perspective is at the heart of Campbell's management style, which she describes as a mix of collaborative and participative. "People use to say women don't know how to lead because they didn't play enough sports or they didn't have the military (experience), and I think just the opposite," she says. "In today's environment and with the kinds of people we need to manage-the last thing we need is a hierarchical, militaristic way of managing-most people in today's environment don't really respond to that kind of management."

Campbell credits some of her management style to Barbara Capsalis, former CIO at Chemical Bank (now JP Morgan & Chase Co.). Campbell remembers Capsalis as one of the first CIOs in New York and the first female CIO - during the early and mid 1980s - she says. Though Campbell didn't work directly for her, she saw Capsalis' style was much like her own-Capsalis didn't succumb to militaristic management.

In her nine-year CIO experience at New York Life, Campbell has seen women-and men-exhibit her management style. "Most of the men I manage have responded incredibly well to that kind of management style and are now using it themselves."

Campbell has learned a lot from men as well. "I have learned an incredible amount from Sy (Sternberg, CEO of New York Life) over the last nine years," she says. "He's very involved in the day-to-day management of the business and is so knowledgeable about the insurance business; he taught me much of what I know about the business side of insurance."

Campbell majored in history in college, then made her way into real estate, human resources and banking. She describes her last nine years as a CIO as thrilling; so much so, she might have made switch to insurance from banking earlier had the opportunity presented itself. "Technology came to the forefront in banking earlier and was such a driver; insurance companies in many cases were not really looking at technology in that kind of a strong way," she says.

"We call it the technology-enabled enterprise: In the life insurance business, technology doesn't drive our business; mostly our agents and sales do," Campbell says, "but from a technology perspective you can't grow the business without utilizing technology to your best advantage, and (experiencing that has) really been a lot of fun."

By Carrie Burns

PROFILE:

Mary Ellen Freyermuth
Director of Management Information Systems
Catholic Mutual Group

For Mary Ellen Freyermuth, the term "challenge" is a misnomer. For her it means "opportunity for continuous improvement."

In her more than 30 years of IT experience, Freyermuth has spent 23 of them in the property/casualty insurance industry. Her insurance career began and continues in Omaha, Neb., first with Acceptance Insurance Co. and the last 13 years as manager and now director of management information systems at Catholic Mutual Group (CMG), a provider of property, liability, automobile and worker's compensation services to the Catholic Church. Freyermuth oversees all information systems development and operations in the company's home offices as well as 36 service offices located throughout the United States and Canada.

As the first woman to be invited to serve on the I/T Committee for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI), she was the first woman to serve as chairperson of the committee for its 1997 annual I/T Conference. Her 17-year history with PCI, along with her participation in CIO-specific sessions at IASA, is evidence of Freyermuth's dedication to the industry.

Being first-and being a woman-has presented more than its share of challenges, however, but none impossible to overcome, notes Freyermuth.

"You have to prove yourself a little more," she says, "and you have to be more resilient. You have to volunteer a lot."

Freyermuth found this out firsthand when a few years back she saw an opportunity to join a CMG strategic service initiative committee-comprised only of men.

"I called and asked to be on the committee-told the chair he needed me. Shortly afterwards, another woman was invited to join," she says.

Early Challenges

Freyermuth is quick to point out that she's far from being a "women's libber," but admits that-especially early in her career - many of the challenges she and other women in IT faced centered on perception.

"Women typically were viewed as clerical, non-management employees," she says. "If you were in insurance, it was viewed as a pretty complicated field to understand and, therefore, more geared for a man. I started in IT as a data entry operator. When I told management that I wanted to learn how to program, their response was 'okay, we'll let you play around with it.' To me, this meant regardless of gender, challenges are really just opportunities. You have to ask for what you want, and then be willing to work hard to get it."

Even today, the specific nature of CMG presents other ongoing challenges that continue to present opportunities, admits Freyermuth.

"Our self-insurance fund company is unique, and we are here to serve the Catholic Church, so we rarely tell anyone 'no,'" she says. "We don't use independent agents; instead marketing agents do the selling, and we have to make good on the promises they make. So from a technology point of view, we have to make everything work."

Making everything work meant taking charge three years ago of a complete redesign of CMG's in-house-developed policy and claims processing systems, which run on 20-plus servers, and working closely with various vendors on the design and implementation of technologies ranging from billing and accounts receivable to Web development and hosting. Most recently, Freyermuth also managed the organization's imaging technology implementation.

"I've always set lofty goals for myself-regardless of whether I reached them, I continue to expand on them, to set the bar higher," she says.

Freyermuth is proud of a team that comprises a number of "long-timers," including one employee who just celebrated 40 years with the company. But she prefers not to take all the credit, instead citing the advantages of working in a smaller company environment.

"In a larger company, you may not ever see the big picture," she says. "All our people are exposed to all the applications we support...we cross-train our programmers so they are not limited."

Freyermuth tackles the gender question by listing her strengths.

"I'm a better listener than my male counterparts, I value expert communication, how my communication style is perceived and how it affects others," notes Freyermuth. "I'm more patient in my decision-making, and I tend to look more closely at all the options available. I listen carefully to each person, each scenario, and in the long run I'm better prepared to make decisions."

Most important to enduring success, believes Freyermuth, is the need to understand the business. "To be successful, you can't just know the technology; you need to be familiar with all aspects and facets of the company."

As she continues to seize opportunities for continuous improvement, Freyermuth credits her father, who told her she could accomplish anything, and her Down syndrome daughter, who continues to serve as a "great inspiration."

By Pat Speer

PROFILE:

Barbara Koster
Senior Vice President and CIO
Prudential Financial

Barb Koster loves what she does. In her current role with Prudential Financial Inc., Koster oversees the use of information technology companywide, including formulation of policies, establishment of standards and architectures and the development of guidelines and management practices.

"You will excel if you follow your passion," she says, "and I was lucky that I found it early."

"Early" reaches back to Koster's childhood, when she asked her father, who worked for RCA, if she could see the card reader machines her dad had told her about. "I got a tour, saw the men programming the boards and wires-and was hooked," she says. "My dad was very supportive."

Being "hooked," has paid off. When she found herself one of the only females in her business administration, computer technology and accounting classes at a newly converted men's college, St. Francis in Brooklyn, N.Y., she decided to stick with her field of study.

"Most women were enrolled in education, so we were often asked, 'why are you in the business and technology program?' We had to excel a little more. I had help from professors along the way who told me, 'you are entering a man's world...you'll have to hold your own.'"

Koster believes her education challenged her to work harder, faster and take the leadership role as other women joined the ranks.

"I was the coordinator because I was one of the few women," she says, "but I thank the women who for 10 years before us fought the battle, because we've broken ground for women in technology today."

Koster started breaking ground in the banking industry, where she held a variety of technology-related executive positions at Chase Manhattan Bank. By the time she joined Prudential in 1995, her career began to skyrocket. In 2006, Koster was named to Computerworld magazine's list of "Premier IT Leaders."

In 2003 she was named one of the top 20 Financial Management Technologists by the CIO Forum, and in 1999 received the "Women In Science and Technology" award.

An experienced speaker at dozens of national and international insurance industry conferences, Koster is also chairperson of the board of ACORD, and serves as a board member at Prudential technology subsidiary Pramerica Systems Ireland Ltd., and on the Board of Trustees for the Liberty Science Center in New Jersey.

Work Hard, Fast

Koster has repeatedly put the "work hard and fast" philosophy to test, most notably with Prudential's LaunchPad project, an initiative to take some 12,000 field sales force members from manual to automated operations using networked laptops. Launching the pilot in January 1997, Prudential was ready to roll out the first laptops in May of that year, finalizing the project in March 1998.

"It required us to pull together support from more than 100 different Prudential organizations," she recalls. "We studied the tools agents would need, then trained the agents on how to gather and electronically submit customer information online."

Koster believes the resulting system, which today provides current product and customer information from anywhere at any time on a single platform, made Prudential unique in the financial services industry. It also reinforced her feeling that good management decisions were the product of knowing the business, not just the technology.

"The project challenged me to use every bit of enterprise knowledge and leadership skills I had acquired in 20 years," she says, "and use it to build the teams that could make it happen."

Koster describes her management style as participative, but plays down the notion that good decision-making and good management-teambuilding included-is best left to one sex or another.

"One thing a woman does have is the ability to adapt," she admits, "but to be successful, both men and women need to be able to adapt their styles to the organization's culture."

Koster's style includes being a passionate advocate for comprehensive communication across all levels and lines of business, and actively listening to all stakeholders.

"We don't spend enough time talking about the support and caring for our staff," says Koster. "It's important to recognize achievements and learn from our failures. That attention to the people you work with is important in leadership."

She's also passionate about giving back. Koster meets regularly with women both within and outside the Prudential network. When not at local high schools talking to girls who are in women's studies classes, or to women at Future Leaders of America meetings, Koster volunteers at Rutgers University, where she helps college-age women find jobs in business and technology.

"I talk to women of all ages about what it's like to be in technology: What's important in education to make business and technology leadership a possibility for them, what does the corporate world expect from them. I tell them to reach out to others who can help them accomplish that, because you can't do it alone. Teamwork and collaboration is essential to solve problems and enable the business to grow."

By Pat Speer

PROFILE:

Jean Delaney Nelson
Senior Vice President and CIO
Securian Financial Group Inc.

The College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, Minn., has a noble vision: to be the world's preeminent Catholic college educating women to lead and influence. When it comes to its alumna Jean Delaney Nelson, the college has certainly fulfilled that mission.

Rising from the ranks as the first information services intern at Minnesota Mutual Life in 1979 to her current position as senior vice president and CIO of the company-now Securian Financial Group-Delaney Nelson is definitely a woman who leads and influences.

Among her achievements: In 2004, she was selected by Computerworld magazine as one of the "100 Premier IT Leaders" and was named by The Business Journal as one of the "25 Women Changemakers" in the Twin Cities.

Of course, this recognition is based on Delaney Nelson's accomplishments.

Only two years out of college with degrees in both math and education, Delaney Nelson in 1981 set up the technical training program at the St. Paul, Minn.-based insurance company.

After suggesting that a structured training program would shorten the time it took new recruits to become productive and improve retention, she was given the go-ahead to start the program. As a result, new hires were "on the job" in six months, and turnover among them dropped substantially.

While still running the training program, in 1983, Delaney Nelson moved on to yet another ground-breaking project: Establishing the application development center at the company. Its sole purpose was to implement tools and technologies to enable application developers to accomplish more work in less time.

But to Delaney Nelson, the most important initiative she spearheaded at the company was the consolidation of disparate IT groups into one cohesive team with a common mission and goals, which began in the late 1990s.

"To me that was a huge accomplishment," she says. "There were so many human challenges in making that happen - and it did happen - and we have an outstanding department to work for-with fabulous people." [Editor's note: In 2005, Securian Financial ranked seventh on Computerworld's annual list of the "100 Best Places to Work" for IT professionals.]

Reluctant To Join The Ranks

No doubt about it: Delaney Nelson is an outstanding member of the insurance IT executive ranks. But she admits she wasn't sure she wanted to enter that realm back in 1995 when she was first offered a position as second vice president.

"Up until that point, I had been a manager and a director, and I was living the manager/director lifestyle," she says. "And when you move into an executive lifestyle, it permeates your whole life-and your family's life. It's 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When you are responsible for the success of an organization of this size, it's not a job; it's a life."

Delaney Nelson, her husband and two daughters adjusted to the demands of her executive role, but not without challenges along the way.

Recalling how she and her husband had to redefine their roles, she says, "Our objective was that our children always come first, and they weren't going to suffer because of either of our jobs. That required all kinds of creativity and flexibility."

Unable to remain a "traditional mom," Delaney Nelson and her husband both became "ambidextrous," she says. One day, she'd get the kids off to school, and the next day he would. "And we have two daughters," she says. So her husband had to learn how to make pigtails and braids, in addition to getting lunches ready, she notes.

Delaney Nelson acknowledges her communication and empathy skills have contributed to her success, especially when dealing with the human challenges of consolidating the IT group. But she's careful not to attribute those qualities to all women.

She's also sensitive to the extra burden placed on women who blaze the trail into corporate leadership, noting that when she became a vice president, people sent mail saying: "Way to go for all women."

"So that meant if I messed up, I messed up for all women," she says. "And men don't get that. Their successes and failures are a reflection on themselves."

Likewise, she describes the gender disparity she has encountered in her personal life. "All through my kids' elementary school years, I heard: 'You have the most amazing husband.'" she says. "But no one ever told him: "You're so lucky to have such a successful businessperson as your wife." To the contrary, people ask her husband, "Does it bother you to have such a successful wife?" and "Why do you work when your wife is a CIO?"

"As a society, we still have a ways to go," she says. "And as the mother of two daughters, I would like to see that change."

By Therese Rutkowski

PROFILE:

Ann Purr
Second Vice President for Information Management
LOMA

Unlike the other five women featured in our cover story this month, Ann Purr is not an IT manager or executive for an insurance company. Nonetheless, she is an influential figure in the insurance technology arena.

As the second vice president for information management at LOMA-the Atlanta-based research and educational association for 1,200 insurance and financial services companies worldwide-Purr facilitates the exchange of information about the use of technology among LOMA members. In this role for 30 years, she has worked closely with hundreds of IT leaders and executives in the industry.

"The insurance industry is very much invested in technology," Purr tells INN. "But technology is not the product-so sharing information about how we're using technology is appropriate and useful. It helps our companies move forward and improve their operations."

Purr landed at LOMA after a four-year stint at New York-based Beneficial National Life Insurance Co. - an interesting digression from teaching high-school math and science, which was her original career goal as an undergraduate at Emmanuel College in Boston.

After graduating with a major in physics and a minor in math and chemistry, Purr joined Beneficial National, working in the issue and actuarial departments, with plans to go on to graduate school for a teaching degree. But she ended up responding to an ad in the New York Times for a job at LOMA-and the rest is history.

A Wealth of Knowledge

Then as now, her job was to facilitate the exchange of IT information, in whatever format was appropriate. "The format for information exchange is probably what has changed the most in my job," says Purr. "Back then, I was writing a lot of reports because that was how we all communicated - through the written word. Now, I communicate through the electronic word, conferences and events."

At LOMA, Purr is a wealth of knowledge. She developed the "Tracking Information Processing Expense Study," which analyzes and compares the capital invested in all areas of information management, and is used by more than 150 key insurance executives worldwide. In addition, she developed LOMA's "Information Practices Study," which outlines the hardware and software configuration and systems practices of more than 300 insurance companies.

Outside LOMA, Purr has been active in the Society of Information Management (SIM), where she served as chair of the International Conference in 1999 and as the Atlanta Chapter president from 1999 to 2000. She also led the assimilation of 80% of the members of the Association for Systems Management (ASM) into SIM in 1995 and 1996-an achievement she considers central to her professional development.

"I call that time in my career as the time I had two jobs," says Purr, who was international president of ASM at the time. "But I would not have been able to see how an entire organization works without that experience."

Leading an all-volunteer organization, such as ASM, also helped Purr develop her motivational skills, she says. "In a volunteer organization, you don't have the carrot or the stick. So I couldn't reward people with a bonus or a salary increase because they didn't work for me, and I couldn't fire them because volunteers aren't fired. You need every warm body you can possibly get."

Still, with all her professional achievements, it was standing on stage at the 2000 LOMA Systems Forum with management guru Peter Drucker that Purr considers the most glorious moment of her career.

"(Drucker) was hard of hearing, so I had to sit on stage with him and face him and repeat the questions from the audience so he could read my lips," she recalls. "Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to be sitting on stage with Peter Drucker - but there I was, and it was thrilling."

Whether it's sitting on stage with Peter Drucker or talking with insurance IT executives at LOMA committee meetings, Purr says she is grateful to hold a position in the industry that brings her face-to-face with so many interesting people.

Asked if being a woman has helped her in that role, she's not so sure.

"It's more what you bring to your job-your integrity, your personality, your commitment," she says. "But it does help if you know people on more than just a surface, cold level."

Frequently, in committee meetings, "we're not only talking about a policy administration system; we're talking about what college our kids are going to-and what they're studying," she says. "That kind of familiarity with people is probably the single-best part of my job. It's wonderful."

By Therese Rutkowski

PROFILE:

Ann West
Director of IT
IMT Insurance Company

"I like the environment at IMT," says Ann West. That's evident when it comes to her background-23 years at the 115-year-old Midwestern property/casualty organization based in Des Moines, Iowa. When West graduated from the University of Iowa's MIS program with a business degree, she stepped right into the real world-as a programmer at IMT. "I've been here since I graduated from college, which is kind of unusual; you just don't run into that anymore."

When West started as a programmer, she admits, she may not have been as strong on the technical side as the business side. "I really didn't have many programming classes," she says. "But when I joined IMT, it was a mainframe shop (using) COBOL, and I learned a lot; I had to."

After only five years on the technical side at IMT, West moved into her first management role. While in retrospect she considers the move the defining moment of her career, at the time, West went along with what was expected of her. "When I look back at it, I didn't know what that was exactly and what that meant," she says. "I think it was one of those things-you're supposed to want to move up and do it (and I did), but (looking back) I didn't have any idea exactly what I was getting into."

What she was getting into was learning more about the insurance business rather that just the IT department. She "started to see the whole picture," she says, which helped her understand how cross-training and teamwork could facilitate growth companywide. This understanding ultimately contributed to her current collaborative management style.

While West, who was appointed director of IT in April 2006, likes to collect coworkers' opinions and absorb them, she is more hands-off in the day-to-day details, she says. "I'm a strong believer in letting people do things their own way, essentially empowering them."

Things have changed in the IT department since West joined IMT. More Web-based applications are used rather than being "strictly a mainframe COBOL shop," she says. "Our company is a mix of mainframe and Internet systems."

Equal Ground

West says that although her gender has not necessarily played a role in her ability to get the job done, she does recall one aspect of her job that has been a challenge. "Sometimes I am the only female in a meeting or group," she says. "Just becoming comfortable with that and not feeling awkward was something that initially I had to learn to deal with." The solution? Time and experience.

West doesn't see men dominating the insurance technology industry, at least not in Des Moines. "There are a lot of insurance companies and banks in Des Moines, and it's small enough that you get to know people-different vendors in the area-and I see a big mix (of men and women)."

The fact that IMT is a small company-its IT department consists of 35 employees-lends to the feeling of equality. "I am very fortunate that in our environment gender is really not even an issue or consideration. Everything in our environment is based on your skills and how you do your job, and interact and everything else, rather than your gender."

West adopts that view when mentoring new employees or helping employees step into a management role at IMT. In fact, West believes her 23 years of helping IMT employees-men and women-grow and succeed is one of her greatest achievements. "It's really a big change to go from a technical role to a management role, and I've enjoyed being involved in that," she says. "We have a high rate of employee retention in our department, so I've watched a lot of people I've hired move up, move along and grow in their careers."

She's also seen some employees shy away from management, but insists everyone learn about the business side of the company. "You can stay on a completely technical career path, which is what a lot of people want to do," says West, "or move into a management-type of career path. But understanding your business gives you a big advantage."

West says people skills, which may be difficult for some technical employees, are still important when the need arises, such as when volunteering for a project. "Don't be afraid to step up, be assertive and take responsibility," West advises. "People don't want to be labeled negatively, but you can be assertive and say, 'I'll take that' or 'I'll do that' and not come across in a negative way. Don't be afraid to jump in and step up."

By Carrie Burns

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR WOMEN
A number of organizations and resources exist for women in the financial services (insurance) and technology industries. Below are just a few:

THE ASSOCIATION OF PROFESSIONAL INSURANCE WOMEN (APIW)
Headquarters: New York, with networks in Chicago and New Jersey
Established: 1976
Web site: www.apiw.org

Mission: Provide women in the insurance industry with opportunities for professional development and assistance. Membership consists of professional insurance women with primary insurers, reinsurers, insurance brokers, risk management, professional services firms and other industry-related organizations.

Programs: Memorial Scholarships-APIW awards annual scholarships to worthy students attending St. John's University, the School of Risk Management and the Illinois State University Katie Insurance School of Insurance and Financial Services.

Insurance Woman of the Year-APIW presents this annual award to recognize an exceptional woman who has achieved prominence in the insurance industry.

THE FINANCIAL WOMEN'S ASSOCIATION (FWA)
Headquarters: New York, with regional chapters, affiliations and alliances in Chicago, San Francisco, Singapore, Boston, Quebec and New Jersey
Established: 1956
Web site: www.fwa.org

Mission: Advance professionalism in finance, with special emphasis on the role of women and the development of future leaders. Membership includes high-achieving women from every sector of the financial world who value professional development and aspire to lead and mentor others within the financial community.

Programs: Mentoring-FWA partners with the educators at the high school and college levels, and members provide individual mentoring nationwide.

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF INSURANCE WOMEN
(International) (NAIW)
Headquarters: Tulsa, Okla., with 320 local associations, 48 state councils and nine geographic regions
Established: 1940
Web site: www.naiw.org

Mission: Provide professional education, an environment in which to build business alliances and the opportunity to make connections with people of differing career paths and levels of experience within the insurance industry.

Programs: Publishes a variety of professional and personal development educational programs. NAIW's Online University offers members the opportunity to take exams online.

Collegiate chapters-NAIW encourages collegiate membership, which provides access to NAIW resources to help students in and outside the classroom. Eligibility: open to full-time students enrolled in a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester at a college or university.

ANITA BORG INSTITUTE FOR WOMEN & TECHNOLOGY (ABI)
Headquarters: Palo Alto, Calif.
Established: 1997
Website: www.anitaborg.org

Mission: Increase the impact of women on all aspects of technology and the positive impact of technology on the world's women.

Programs: ABI provides resources and programs to help industry, academia and government recruit, retain and develop women leaders in high technology careers.

ABI's programs: Systers Online Community, Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, Virtual Development Center, TechLeaders, Women of Vision and the Anita Borg Awards.

NATIONAL CENTER FOR WOMEN & INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (NCWIT)
Headquarters: Boulder, Colo.
Established: 2003
Website: www.ncwit.org

Mission: Ensure that women's knowledge and skills are fully represented in the creation, development, and consumption of information technology. Strategy is to educate, disseminate and advocate a national, multi-year implementation plan that generates tangible progress within 20 years.

Programs: NCWIT works in collaboration with colleges, universities, individuals, non-profits, industry and government to train, employ and unite women who are interested in technology. Conferences, forums for idea exchange and advocacy efforts are ongoing.

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