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News Releases @ TCC

VP for to lead free session for women in tech fields

NORFOLK, Va. – (Sept. 15, 2004) – Tidewater Community College welcomes women interested in advancing to management positions - especially in traditionally male fields - to a free open session on “Proper Business Etiquette.”

Presented by Beth Jordan, vice president of sales operation for in Atlanta, the workshop runs 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 21, at the Advanced Technology Center Auditorium, Virginia Beach Campus. For more information, call TCC’s Women’s Center at 822-7363.

The business training session focuses on professional and social skills expected for upper-level positions. It exemplifies mentoring and programming developed by TCC’s Networks for Women, a student source for help and encouragement in traditionally male courses of study.

“There’s a real demand for professionals in the fields of technology, math, science and engineering, yet women fill less than 25 percent of the positions in these fields,” explains Cindy Shipp, NFW program coordinator and a counselor at the Virginia Beach Campus. “By placing students in mentor experiences early on, we hope to foster relationships and give students a leg up before sending them out to the work place.”

“It’s a lot easier for a woman to speak to another woman, to get an insider’s look at these non-traditional professions,” adds Roberta Cool, dean of information technology and business for the Virginia Beach Campus. “I encourage my faculty to refer women to the NFW, especially those that seem intimidated by their male classmates.”

Networks for Women began in 2001 and connects female students with professional women from non-traditional fields, both through sessions such as Business Etiquette and mentor matches. Mentoring pairs work together for a least a semester, often keeping in touch by e-mail, as well as meeting one-on-one. Mentors help students write resumes, hone interviewing skills and make contacts.

“Having a polished resume that highlights technical skills is so important in the non-traditional fields,” adds mentor Clarissa Lynch, senior desktop support analyst, “Being able to highlight your soft skills is essential, too, and we cover all of that.”

More than 260 women have benefited from the NFW program including Jackolyn Carter, an information technology student paired with Lynch. “Women wear so many hats and sometimes just doing something for yourself can be an issue,” Carter explains. “This program is a great support and a real encouragement for me. Clarissa has inspired me to apply for jobs, and she believes in me.”

Often, NFW participants work alongside their mentors, job shadowing and getting a good look at the profession. Other program benefits include mock interview sessions and career development seminars that cover topics like proper business etiquette and overcoming obstacles usually unique to women. In addition, the Networks for Women program will play a key role with the Women’s Center $608,208 grant from the National Science Foundation to aid in training women for nontraditional fields.

“When I was in college I was one of two women who completed the IT program,” says Lynch. “Just getting those little pointers and having someone to talk with would have been beneficial. At least I’m no longer the only woman in the department. We’re finally making some strides.”


Laurie White
Media Relations

Tidewater Community College is the second largest of the 23 community colleges in the Commonwealth of Virginia, enrolling more than 34,000 students annually. The 37th largest in the nationís 1,600 community-college network, TCC ranks among the 50 fastest-growing large community colleges. Founded in 1968 as a part of the Virginia Community College System, the college serves the South Hampton Roads region with campuses in Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach as well as the TCC Jeanne and George Roper Performing Arts Center in the theater district in downtown Norfolk, the Visual Arts Center in Olde Towne Portsmouth and a regional Advanced Technology Center in Virginia Beach. Forty-three percent of the regionís residents attending a college or university in Virginia last fall were enrolled at TCC.