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The Women Writing Science Project: Feminist Press and IBM Launch New Social Networking Site to Increase the Numbers of Young Women in Science

Submitted by: IBM

Categories: Academia, Human Resources & Diversity

Posted: Oct 27, 2008 – 11:14 AM EST


Oct. 27 /CSRwire/ - NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) - October 27, 2008 - The Women Writing Science project, a multi-faceted initiative to involve young women in science and to encourage them to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), announces the launch of the website Underthemicroscope.com.

Sponsored by and developed with IBM, Underthemicroscope.com offers a wealth of continually updated information, including input from visitors to the web site. Currently the site provides the opportunity to post personal stories, feature and guest blogging, news about science, and links to related resources. Within the year the site will include more social networking opportunities, tips on careers, tips for parents, expanded links to science-related sites, and mentoring. Ultimately the site will provide information about internships and scholarships as well as serialized chapters of Women Writing Science publications that can be downloaded free of charge and an online book club.

"Underthemicroscope.com with IBM's help combines new technology, like social networking, with traditional publishing to better communicate with young women in science, develop new content for stories and serve as a place of learning and inspiration," said Gloria Jacobs, Executive Director of the Feminist Press.

Initiated by The Feminist Press at The City University of New York with support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Women Writing Science will publish books of biography, fiction, history, career profiles, and how-to-survive guides presenting women as both scientists and as writers about science. Women Writing Science will also provide free teacher guides describing lesson plans and strategies for using the books in science curricula. These materials will be easily downloaded from Underthemicroscope.com.

Women Writing Science begins its publishing program early in 2009 with two books: BASE TEN: A Novel by Maryann Lesert and WOMEN IN SCIENCE: Then and Now by Vivian Gornick, with a Foreword by Donna E. Shalala.

Stanley Litow, Vice President, IBM Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs and President of the IBM International Foundation, will help unveil Underthemicroscope.com at the Feminist Press' 38th anniversary gala in New York City on Monday, October 27, 2008. Gala participants will include Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Charles E. Schumer and celebrated broadcast journalist Barbara Walters.

"At IBM, we have about 200,000 technical positions out of nearly 400,000 employees overall, and women are more than 20 percent of our technical workforce. This puts us in a leadership position since less than 10 percent of engineers in the entire professional workforce are women, but its not nearly enough to be double the average. We want to improve," Mr. Litow said. "One way to realize that goal is to provide young women with role models, mentors and examples so more young women will be inspired and helped to enter exciting technical careers, and projects like the Woman Writing Science will help."

IBM is supporting Underthemicroscope.com as part of its efforts to encourage more young people to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math. There is a serious shortage of young people entering into these disciplines that could impact America's competitiveness in today's global economy. While other countries are increasing the number of students in these fields, enrollment in higher education institutions in the U.S. is declining. Young people need to understand the opportunity and be encouraged to pursue potential careers in these disciplines.

Begun in 1970, the award-winning Feminist Press at The City University of New York is a unique organization dedicated to publishing literary and educational works by and about women. It is the oldest continuing women's publisher in the world.

For more information about the Feminist Press at The City University of New York, please visit: http://www.feministpress.org/

For more information about IBM, please visit www.ibm.com

For more information, please contact:

Franklin Dennis The Feminist Press
Phone: 212-817-7928
Sandra Dressel IBM Media Relations
Phone: 914-499-6609

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