Aspirations In The News: Search Underway for Best and Brightest Female Tech Enthusiasts

Northland girls interested in technology and computing will want to mark October 26 on their calendar. That’s the day applications for the Aspirations in Computing Awards Program is due and the center behind the awards is looking for more applicants from greater Minnesota.

The Aspirations Awards recognize the talent of high school girls interested in technology. Advance IT Minnesota is behind the awards program. They created the awards to “help address a gender and talent gap, and encourage young women interested in technology,” according to their release.

Advance IT Minnesota helped create the awards to “address a gender and talent gap, and encourage young women interested in technology.”

Jennifer Rosato is an associate professor at St. Scholastica who teaches computer science courses. Scholastica is a member of the National Center for Women & Information Technology.

“There are not many women who are going into [the industry as] professionals. Only about 20-percent of the field are women and that means that when you look at industry, the products that you’ve developed, the teams that you have are not as diverse as they could be,” Rosato explained.

A recent local winner of an Aspirations Award is Kirsi Kuutti. Some people may recognize her from her days on the FIRST Robotics team at Duluth East. She is now a student at UMD and is currently in Houston fulfilling a fellowship at NASA.

In an email, Kuutti wrote about her experience. “Even if you have the slightest interest in computing you should apply for this award. I was doubtful that I met the requirements for the award….The only reason I did is that my mom insisted that it was worth a shot applying and it has taken me so far!”

Young women like Kuuti could help change the norm.

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