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Feb. 18, 2014 10:15 am

22% of UMBC incubator companies founded by women: Freeman Hrabowski

Freeman Hrabowski speaking at TEDxMidAtlantic in 2012.

Freeman Hrabowski, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), thinks more should be done to bring women into the technology field.

Thirty years ago, U.S. colleges “awarded 37 percent of computer science bachelor’s degrees to women,” he wrote in the Baltimore Sun. Today, women receive 18 percent of such degrees.

At UMBC, several efforts to bring women into the fold are now taking place. The university has a Center for Women in Technology. And 22 percent of the more than 100 companies housed at the on-campus bwtech incubator are owned by women. As Hrabowski writes:

Across the country today, just 3 percent of tech firms were founded by women. To help address that disparity, UMBC developed the ACTiVATE program, which has served 120 women entrepreneurs who have gone on to form over 35 companies in Maryland in the past 10 years. In partnership with target.gov, the bwtech@UMBC research and technology park also provides ongoing training and networking opportunities for women entrepreneurs. Today, 22 percent of bwtech@UMBC companies are owned or led by women.

Read Hrabowski’s full editorial here.

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  • Pamela Kopel

    As a woman in technology I am proud that a Baltimore school is taking this ininitiative. It is important to empower everyone, regardless of gender, who is bright, creative and ambitious to consider software development as a career possibly.