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Strengthening support for women and technology

By IU Bloomington Today

August 28, 2023

Since 2013, the Center of Excellence for Women & Technology has brought together women and allies to create a strong faculty, staff and student community that provides mentorship and support across various disciplines.

Now, after nearly a decade of initiatives supporting and celebrating women and technology, Indiana University will redouble its commitment and ensure the university is equipped to maximize the impact for women and technology across the Bloomington campus, specifically for faculty and students.

“For the past 10 years, the Center of Excellence for Women & Technology has developed innovative programs focused on empowering women across all disciplines,” Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs Carrie Docherty said. “I am excited to have the opportunity to continue the center’s legacy and continue to find opportunities to fully support students, faculty and staff.”

To ensure that robust development for women and technology is linked to other crucial faculty programs in the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs, faculty programing for women and technology will continue to develop alongside the Women in Leadership series. Additionally, the Advocates & Allies for Equity group, through the leadership of Tom James, will become part of the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs.

To link the university’s developing student success initiatives with vital programming specifically for women studying in STEM disciplines, the center itself and student programming will now be housed in the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education.

“The inclusion of the CEW&T into undergraduate education is already creating stronger collaborations,” Interim Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education Vasti Torres said. “We look forward to further strengthening the support we offer for students.”

Michelle Bartley Taylor will continue as the center’s director.

Longtime executive director and co-founder of CEW&T Maureen Biggers will retire, leaving behind her deep legacy of advocating for underrepresented students. Under her leadership, the center oversaw the growth of mentoring programs that connected students and alumni, expanded the reach of the center across multiple disciplines, and championed equity and inclusion in classrooms, labs and departments.

Docherty said the center is thankful for the direction that Biggers provided, alongside co-founders Laurie Burns McRobbie, former IU first lady; Anne Massey, former Kelley School of Business professor; and Beth Plale, professor of informatics and computing in the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering in Bloomington.

“These women have created an incredible community that the university is enthusiastic about continuing to grow and support,” Docherty said. “And we look forward to many more years of investment to continue this mentorship for our university family.”