Women in Tech Initiative Receives $100,000 Programming Grant from Craig Newmark Philanthropies

Craig Newmark
Funds Will Strengthen Initiative’s Existing Programs and Drive Development of New Projects

The Women in Tech Initiative at Case Western Reserve University is pleased to announce a $100,000 matching grant for the upcoming academic school year from double alumnus and craigslist founder Craig Newmark (CIT ‘75, GRS ‘77, computer science), who was instrumental in launching the Initiative in 2018.

Newmark’s grant, made through Craig Newmark Philanthropies, will be used throughout the 2020 - 2021 academic year to bolster Initiative programs that support women in technology, including creating programming (online and in-person) to better connect women studying technology with women currently working in the field.

The Women in Tech Initiative, spearheaded by Case Western Reserve University’s School of Engineering, was conceived as a means to narrowing the gender gap in technology. According to Small Business Trends, “In 2018, 20% of all jobs in technology were held by women.” And while females comprise 33 percent of the Case Western Reserve University School of Engineering’s student body, the University seeks to boost that percentage in the coming years.

Accordingly, the Initiative fosters learning and growth in the field of technology through targeted mentorship and professional learning opportunities. Programming is designed to help female students learn about careers and opportunities in their chosen field, and network with professionals and other students enrolled in similar studies.

In 2018/2019, funding from Craig Newmark Philanthropies supported building and sustaining the Initiative from the ground up through several foundational steps, including:

  • Recruitment of a Steering Committee to help shape the Initiative’s goals and objectives
  • Hosting the first annual spring event that was attended by 90-plus students, faculty and industry professionals
  • Conducting student research to identify areas of interest and needed support
  • Branding and messaging development, along with website and social media launches to create awareness and boost outreach efforts
  • Development of a Corporate Lecture in Leadership series kicked off with Barbara Humpton, CEO of Siemens USA

In 2020, Newmark’s grant, along with additional programmatic support, will be used to:

  • Establish a professional development program at the University
  • Expand the depth and breadth of Initiative events
  • Host relevant conferences, speaking engagements and workshops
  • Sustain and increase attendance in relevant conferences among women in the University’s technology fields
  • Launch podcasts and blogs for ongoing learning shares

“Through his inspiration, leadership and support, Craig Newmark has been the driving force that helped propel the Women in Tech Initiative from concept to thriving reality. “His continued generosity and support are instrumental in enabling us to build on our successes, broaden our reach, deepen our impact on young women’s lives and careers and make vital strides in pursuing our mission.”

-Evren Gurkan-Cavusoglu, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Faculty Director for the Women in Tech Initiative

Thank you, Craig Newmark


About the Women in Tech Initiative:
Women in Tech Initiative fosters learning and growth in the fields of technology through mentorship and professional learning opportunities. Our mission is to support and educate female leaders in technology by giving women access to a strong, supportive community of peers and mentors, both in-person and online. For more information, visit https://case.edu/womenintech/.