Since 1987, our nation has celebrated Women’s History Month each March, taking time to recognize the impact of women on the betterment of our society and our world. Here on the NJIT campus, we mark this month with a number of programs designed to highlight the contributions of women at our university, in professional fields and in society at large. We host panel discussions, networking events and other educational fora with the purpose of cultivating the talents of our female students and faculty while fostering mentorship, providing support systems and creating pathways for advancement. Some of these have included a celebration of International Women’s Day; a panel discussion titled “Progress, Not Perfect;” and the 3rd annual Women Designing the Future Conference, which will be hosted by NJIT’s Murray Center for Women in Technology on March 24. We do these events out of respect and appreciation but also because the benefits are so significant for our campus community.
Our world is increasingly driven and affected by technological innovation, and we must attract not only significant numbers of women to the STEM fields but also make certain there are ample opportunities to assume positions of leadership. Historically, this has not been the case, and it has not been easy to turn that tide. The evidence is ample, however, that diversity of thought, skill, experience, and perspective at all levels of an organization and throughout any community is of great value. I am very proud that NJIT has been ranked by Diversity in Action magazine as one of the country’s “Top Institutions of Higher Learning Dedicated to STEM Diversity.” I also am proud of the work of our Murray Center, which connects female students and faculty to one another and to the resources they need to achieve their goals, our Center for Pre-College Programs, which has been instrumental in growing the pipeline of prospective female and underrepresented minority students, and your university leadership is committed to growing diversity in meaningful ways at NJIT, including our ongoing effort to recruit greater numbers of exceptional female faculty and administrators to our university. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those community members who have contributed to these important efforts and to especially thank the many women whose abilities and influence have lifted and continue to raise NJIT to greater heights.
Joel S. Bloom