In the Spotlight: Opportunities

opportunities for women in technology

photo of women sitting at a deskThe Western Michigan IT Forum and International Conference on Health Information Technology Advancement (ICHITA) focuses on the latest in information technology.

This year’s conference shared insights on Exploring Health IT Innovation and Cybersecurity in the Digital Era, and during the conference another important topic was discussed, women in information technology.

“We know that it is important for all students to know about the opportunities in technology,” says Dr. Mike Tarn, chair of the Department of Business Information Systems. “We especially want to attract women students and support their interests in the industry.”

In addition to the conference’s presentations and breakout sessions on innovations in health information technology and cybersecurity, attendees could attend a women in technology seminar presented by Cindy Swiantek, B.B.A.’84, vice president, sales at VisionPRO, and facilitated by Barbara Sagara, master faculty specialist of business communication, and Dr. Carrie Song, assistant professor of computer information systems.

In the seminar, Swiantek discussed her experience at WMU as the first female graduate of the business information systems program and shared resources for female students interested in fields that are traditionally more male-dominated.

“We believe women need opportunities to network and discuss their unique needs in all STEM fields, and to that end, we thought having this targeted workshop would allow students to connect with other WMU women also interested in technology fields,” says Sagara.

The overwhelming interest in the seminar prompted the development of WiT, a student organization devoted to women in technology.  

“WiT supports women in their education and careers,” says Song. “We want to help members gain better awareness and understanding of all IT has to offer and help them develop social ties for their future careers.”