Sit With Me is a national advocacy campaign designed to encourage women in computing careers. Sit With Me seeks to raise the visibility of technical women by providing a gathering place for people (women, men, technical, non-technical) to acknowledge the valuable contributions of women in computing.
Sit With Me uses an iconic Red Chair to symbolize that women in technology need more seats at the table, that men and women can sit in support and solidarity for technical women, and that one highly visible action can instigate others.
The Sit With Me website is an interactive experience that encourages people to take small but symbolic actions: find or request a Red Chair; upload stories, photographs, and video using the Red Chair; check out others’ stories and photos; and participate via social media (Twitter, Facebook, Vimeo, Flickr).
Why Sit With Me?
By raising the visibility of women’s participation in technology, Sit With Me seeks to attract and retain more women in the field. Although women today comprise half the world’s population and more than half of the U.S. professional workforce, they play only a small role in inventing the technology of tomorrow. Fewer women are choosing technology and computing as a career path, and 56% of technical women leave in the middle of their careers to pursue other jobs.
As we look to compete globally and meet the world’s most pressing challenges, we must increase the role of women in technology. Capitalizing on the power of gender diversity can yield a larger and more competitive workforce and enable the design of technology that is as influential and extensive as the populations it serves.
What’s the story with the Red Chair?
The Emeco 111 Red Navy Chair represents a partnership of collaboration and innovation: each chair is handmade in Hanover, Pennsylvania, from 111 recycled plastic Coke bottles and the chairs are designed to last 150 years.
Who’s behind the campaign?
Sit With Me was created by members of the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), a non-profit community of corporations, universities, and non-profits that works to increase diversity in technology and computing. Sit With Me is sponsored by Google with additional support from Emeco and NCWIT’s Strategic and Investment Sponsors.
Who’s been sitting in the chair?
Some of the organizations and people who have participated in the campaign so far include Craig Barrett, former Intel CEO; Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO; Brad Feld, Foundry Group venture capitalist; Trish Jones, Chief Emerging Technologies Officer at Turner Broadcasting Systems, Inc.; Ed Lazowska, Bill & Melinda Gates Chair in Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington; and Kodu Kudo Tsunoda, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Studios.