The program was brought to the Flower Mound campus at 2401 Old Settlers Road by parent and Citi employee Shannon McMullen.
According to McMullen, Women in IT was influenced by organizations such as Girls Who Code and She++, and launched in response to a few statistics:
• Since 1984, the percentage of female computer science graduates has dropped from 37 percent to 12 percent
• Women make up more than half of the U.S. workforce, but hold just 25 percent of the jobs in technical or computing fields
• By 2020, the IT sector will add nearly 1.4 million job openings, but compared to a projection of only 400,000 computer science students, more than 2/3 of those jobs could go unfilled
“These numbers highlight the talent gap and immense opportunity ahead of our nation’s students — particularly females,” McMullen said. “Our goal with this initiative is to inspire more middle and high school girls to consider careers in technology.”
During the assembly, Citi employees shared videos and facts about women in IT, the types of roles and jobs available, as well as their own personal stories about the lifestyle benefits an IT career can provide.
The assembly resonated with 8th grader Shalini Namuduri.
“I liked when they each described their own journey, and how they started in different places and found opportunities in IT,” Namuduri said.
Eighth grader Jessica Park was considering a career in the medical field.
“I now see how IT helps the world and this could change my views on what I want to do in high school,” Park said.
Students also completed web-based assessments before and during the course to help identify activities that interest them. The course then related those skills and interests to careers like project management, computer programming and graphic design. Then, presenters shared the background for these careers, as well as their average salaries and educational requirements.
“The cool thing about this whole project is that it was community driven and I like the fact that Citi has this outreach program,” MMS Principal Pete Taggart said. “We hope to always give our students choice and ideas about what they will do post McKamy. This is a great match from the standpoint of there is an industry where women are under represented, but the flip side of that means there is opportunity. To be able to bring some thinking to our 8th grade girls just ahead of high school registration is fantastic. It means that they are going to go into that process with a different glance. I believe that we will create some situations where some girls are going to be like, ‘That’s it! That’s for me!”
Another great career teaching opportunity: MMS students experience during the school year is a field trip to Lewisville ISD (LISD)’s Career and Technology Centers: Career Center East and/or Dale Jackson Career Center. These two schools allow LISD students from all five high school feeder patterns – Flower Mound, Hebron, Lewisville, Marcus and The Colony – to find ways to apply what they have learned throughout their high school education through career training programs with some of the highest technology offerings and college articulated programs to be found anywhere in Texas. Learn more about LISD Career Tech here.
Elizabeth Haas is part of the public relations team at the Lewisville Independent School District.