WISE (OFFICIAL STARS GROUP)

Women in IT and ICT Sharing Experiences

Introduction:
WISE is a peer mentoring initiative sponsored by the College of Communication & Information at Florida State University and the STARS Alliance project. STARS Alliance is an NSF-funded project that is designed to increase the participation of women and minorities in computing related fields.

Mission:
WISE will work to provide women in the technology program opportunities for professional growth, networking and leadership through partnerships with professional women in local technology community.

Program Overview:
The mentoring program will link current College of Information female students with local female business professionals. This program provides an environment for students to obtain advice from experienced professionals. The program is designed to provide:

* Industry Lectures
* Educational Shadowing
* Peer Mentoring and Leadership
* Social Interactions
* Career Counseling
* Networking Opportunities

Women in IT and ICT Sharing Experiences is a STARS peer mentoring initiative designed to provide mentors for our female students.

Data shows that Computer Science has a hard time attracting females and that IT female students drop out (20% start the IT program and 10-12% graduate). The goal of this team is to provide mentoring opportunities, networking opportunities, and programs for women in the College.

Importance of this Program:
Mentoring is an opportunity for leaders to give back and to cultivate the next generation of leaders. Leaders can help prepare college students for the next stage of their careers.

The data tells the story:
* Women comprised 46% of the total U.S. labor force and are projected to account for 47% of the labor force in 2016. * Research shows that nearly 75% of future jobs in the United States will require the use of technology, yet fewer than 33% of students in technology courses are female.
* Today, women account for about 20% of working IT professionals.

Our purpose is to grow the number of women majoring in IT/ICT, and to graduate them into professions once enrolled. It is important to us that we give our students the necessary support and encouragement so they can become leaders in their field.

Established business leaders are the most essential tools available to college students because they can provide the most accurate career advice and also help with job placement. We know that the relationships formed through our program will continue beyond graduation.