Encouraging Female Technologists

The Department of Informatics and Computer Science wants very much to see increased female enrollments in our programs. Our department is affiliated with the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) Academic Alliance, and we need to take advantage of their resources to help us encourage female enrollment.

The wage gap in STEM is much smaller than in non-STEM professions, with women earning 92 cents for every $1.00 earned by men, compared to only 77 cents in other fields. Obtaining a STEM degree and choosing to work in a STEM field nets women 29% higher hourly earnings, on average, than their peers who have neither a STEM degree nor a STEM job. Read more in Women in STEM: Realizing the Potential.

Young ladies often find great success in computing fields. Only 26% of the technology workplace is composed of female technologists, but we are surrounded by excellent examples.

  • My most impressive ISU Informatics student thus far is Michalene Etnyre who continues to grow and excel with Battelle Energy Alliance at Idaho National Labs. I've never met anyone who can process SQL statements in their head so quickly.
  • Angela Hillier is a CS/CIS grad working as a Software Engineer in the gaming field for Microsoft. Watch a YouTube video profile about Angela here.
  • Lindsey Anderson owns her own very successful web development and software development company, Web Impakt.
  • Rita Wells, a CIS grad, is Energy Sector Infrastructure Advisor at Idaho National Laboratory.
  • Jaelith Webster, a CIS grad, is an SAP HCM Technical Architect at CSC.
  • Sera White, a CS grad, is a Senior Engineer with Battelle Energy Alliance at Idaho National Labs.
  • Bidhya Shrestha, a 2006 CIS grad, is a Business Intelligence Technical Manager in the Consumer Insights Unit at Best Buy.
  • Moheeta Tamrakar, a 2008 CIS grad, serves as Associate Director of Social Media at IPG Mediabrands.
  • Whitney Norman, a 2010 CIS grad, is Digital Product Manager at Melaleuca.
  • Oana Iacovita, a 2010 CIS graduate, has been making a name for herself in business intelligence and analytics at Micron until a European company, iQuest, lured her away for the position of Senior Software Engineer, Business Intelligence and Data Warehouse Solutions.
  • Emily Roseborough, a 2012 graduate, has experienced great success as Senior Information Services Business Analyst at Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company.
  • Jessica South-Tellez, 2013 CIS grad, is currently a Business Analyst at Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company of Idaho.
  • Guan-Yi "Yvonne" Lee, a 2013 graduate, is an IT Specialist at Health West Inc. in Pocatello.
  • Angela Byington, a 2013 grad, is finding great success in health informatics as an IT Epic Application Coordinator at St. Luke's Hospital
  • Yin Man (Irene) Wong, 2014 CIS grad, is a Business Analyst at Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company of Idaho.
  • Princess Young, who received an MBA in Information Assurance/Cyber Security in 2014, works with the cybersecurity education and awareness office for the DHS in Virginia.
  • Ramila Baral and Chelsea McDougall, both recent CIS grads, are pursuing their MBAs at ISU.

While this is by no means an exhaustive list of our memorable female grads, all of these women have been successful in their field and provide wonderful role models for any young lady who is wondering if she can succeed in computing.

Finally, Romelia Flores, my closest and most brilliant friend while majoring in Computer Science at the University of Texas, is showcased here as one of 26 prominent female technologists and innovators within IBM.

There is no reason why young ladies cannot excel in technology. Every faculty member in the ICS department cares and wants to help students excel. Our message to students – both female and male – is "You can do it, and we want to help you succeed!"

Here's to more women in technology!