Women in technology in West Michigan
Editor's note: Kathy Labozzetta is a member of the nonprofit Michigan Council of Women in Technology.
The Michigan Council of Women in Technology is making a concentrated effort to grow membership in West Michigan.
This nonprofit, or MCWT, has its roots in the east side of the state, but it is expanding through West Michigan involvement.
MCWT is starting to host events and programs on the west side of the state.
Most recently, on May 19, MCWT President Cindy Warner and the group’s partner development committee hosted an Executive Breakfast at Davenport University’s Sneden Center with an influential group of CIOs from the Grand Rapids region.
Krischa Winright, CIO of Priority Health, delivered the keynote address.
MCWT started in 2000 and continues to provide programming and resources to inspire and grow women in technology. The organization works to broadly reach young girls to get them to consider technology and deeply connect with women who chose the IT path.
MCWT brings together a network of stakeholders — teachers, parents, students, businesses, professionals and retirees — who are committed to seeing our IT community thrive. Membership is not limited to women, as, of course, there are men who have an active interest in promoting girls and women in technology positions.
The organization's vision is for Michigan to become the No. 1 state for women in technology.
It is so much more than just a professional organization. It helps facilitate connections, whether those may be on LinkedIn, with a new employer, with a mentor or through a network of IT professionals.
A key component of MCWT’s strength is its ability to encourage girls and women in Michigan to pursue technology-related careers. It offers scholarships, Camp Infinity summer technology camps, Girls Exploring Together Information Technology — or GET-IT, high school clubs, grants for RoboFest robotics competitions and an annual website design competition.
There is a strong business case to ensuring companies hire and retain a diverse workforce to fuel innovation and competitiveness. In fact, MCWT counts 72 corporate partners that work to advance its mission.
Our company believes it is important to support women in technology careers and encourage girls to pursue such careers. As demand increases and the gender wage gap in tech decreases, girls and women should consider the technology field. Not only will it strengthen their career options and companies, but it will also strengthen Michigan’s economy. The time is now.
Take part in expanding MCWT’s impact in West Michigan.