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(San Jose, CA) - One of the fastest growing professional groups is Hispanic women in computing, doubling in the last seven years. Yet of nearly three million employed computer scientists in the U.S. last year, Hispanic women still represented less than 1%. One of the most successful ways to get students excited about engineering and scientific fields and to guide them to professional careers is to match them with mentors who already work for corporations. Latinas in Computing, a grass-roots group, has teamed with MentorNet to build these relationships. Now, a new grant from Rockwell Collins will help support outreach efforts to expand their joint efforts. For over ten years, MentorNet has used the web to match students at 120 colleges and universities with appropriate mentors at corporations, government labs and agencies who engage them one-on-one with a successful, extended mentoring program using email and other communications. "We look forward to working with MentorNet to showcase the multitude of professional growth and development opportunities available for Hispanic women in our industry," said Karen Brown, director of Diversity for Rockwell Collins. "Supporting groups such as Latinas in the Computing reinforces our diversity strategy of building a workforce that represents a variety of people who have different backgrounds, beliefs, viewpoints, ideas, experiences and perspectives." "MentorNet has a long track record of success guiding and retaining women and minorities in engineering, science and related fields through these programs," noted David Porush, MentorNet CEO. "Bringing our experience and services to Latinas to help them find professional careers in computing, with the help of this new Rockwell Collins grant, is a great extension of our mission." MentorNet's Latinas in Computing website provides direct access for Latinas students in computing sciences and engineering to participate in mentoring and networking, including opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and early career faculty to engage in one-on-one mentoring relationships with professionals in their fields. With this grant, Rockwell Collins joins Texas Instruments, Sun Microsystems, and the Association of Women in Science in support of the program.

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