CEWiT Co-Founder and Advisory Council Chair Laurie Burns McRobbie Wins Outstanding Leadership Award

By Eliza Williams

Friday, October 10, 2014

Indiana University First Lady Laurie Burns McRobbie, one of CEWiT’s founders and its Advisory Council Chair, received the 2014 Leading Light Outstanding Leadership Award from Women and Hi Tech on October 1. The Women in Hi Tech organization serves to engage, educate, and energize women in science, engineering, and technology. The award recognizes an individual who has exhibited outstanding leadership and contributed to the success of Indiana women in science, education and technology.

McRobbie’s dedication to increasing female participation in technology is continually exhibited through her work with CEWiT. Her strategic vision and leadership has allowed the organization to expand and engage women all over the state in its first year, including developing an undergraduate research experiences for women program focused on technology; promoting multidisciplinary collaborations among faculty through mentoring groups and monthly research talks related to technology; partnering with technology staff at IU to promote leadership skills development through workshops, and launching an annual conference for women in technology.

“This award is a wonderful recognition for the community of women and men who have come together to create CEWiT and more generally, create a supportive and nourishing environment for techie women at IU," McRobbie said.

In addition to her work with CEWiT, McRobbie is a faculty member at the School of Informatics and Computing (SoIC) committed to technology education. She combines her passion for philanthropy and gender equality through her work as co-founder and advisory chair of Serve-IT, an undergraduate service-learning program at SoIC that provides technology training and services to local nonprofits.  She often delivers speeches and presentations around the state of Indiana, stressing the need for more women in STEM-related fields. Her “Technology for Social Good” TEDxBloomington Talk describes ways to attract more women and minorities to the field through innovative programs that connect IT with nonprofit missions, such as ServeIT.

"Her dedication and vision to empower women in technology improves the technology landscape of the campus and beyond, directly impacting the local, state and global technology communities,” said Indiana University Provost Lauren Robel.

Prior to coming to IU, McRobbie had a twenty-five year career in IT, which included eight years as an executive director with Internet2, a nonprofit technology consortium committed to advancing education and research. Through her work with Internet2, she led the formation of its current Gender Diversity Initiative.