Big Dream, Campaign to Unite & Grow More Women in Computing


August 4, 2014


Rane Johnson, Jennifer Breslin, Kelly Cox, Karen Peterson, and Lucy Sanders


Microsoft, UN Women, Iron Ways Film, National Girls Collaborative Project, NCWIT


Join us on a journey. Big Dream, a series and film produced by Microsoft Research and Iron Way Films, centers around the stories of five young women around the globe working on transforming the world through technology. Each story will show an intimate look at these young women’s ambitions, challenges, and innovative approaches to their lives. You will also hear voices of women— both accomplished and starting their computer science career—who share their fears, aspirations, advice, and their big audacious dreams. The Big Dream Campaign will launch in the fall of 2014. You will get an early glimpse into three of the five stories. You will meet the producer, researchers, and students in the film and have the opportunity to ask them questions. You will learn what role your university and you can take to join the Big Dream Movement. Join us to be inspired and see how we can grow more women in computing.


Rane Johnson, Jennifer Breslin, Kelly Cox, Karen Peterson, and Lucy Sanders

Jennifer Breslin is the Knowledge, Innovation and Technology for Development Coordinator at UN Women and has worked in the UN System on ICT for Development for over 15 years on related strategy and policy issues, integration of ICT into development programming, the establishment of an innovation incubator, and knowledge networking, sharing and learning. Her thematic focus areas have covered governance and women’s empowerment. In addition, she has been a Girl Scout leader and co-leader for four years with a focus on STE(A)M related activities. Jennifer received her master’s degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy where she studied global Internet policy and development economics and her bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley.

Kelly Cox, co-founder of Iron Way Entertainment, produces digital stories that reach millions of viewers worldwide. Recently, she created Original Fare—a food/travel web series on PBS Food. She has directed and produced projects for Disney, National Academy of Engineering, Cisco, Participant Media, QVC, PBS Parents, and US Open.

Karen Peterson is CEO for the EdLab Group and Principal Investigator for the National Girls Collaborative Project (NGCP). The NGCP maximizes access to shared resources for organizations expanding girls’ participation in STEM by using the leverage of a network to create the tipping point for gender equity in STEM. NGCP serves 39 states, facilitating collaboration between organizations serving 8.3 million girls and 4.7 million boys. Peterson is also Co-PI for the NSF-funded ITEST Learning Resource Center, Citizen SciGirls, SciGirls CONNECT, and Build IT Scale Up projects. These projects address gender, racial and socioeconomic underrepresentation in STEM fields. In 2013, Peterson was profiled in STEMConnector’s 100 Women Leaders in STEM publication. A graduate of the University of Washington, Bothell campus, her master’s thesis focused on gendered attitudes towards computer use in education.

Lucy Sanders is CEO and co-founder of the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), a consortium of more than 300 corporations, universities, and nonprofits working to increase the participation of girls and women in computing and information technology. She also serves as executive-in-residence for the ATLAS Institute at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Sanders has an extensive industry background, having worked in R&D and executive positions at AT&T Bell Labs, Lucent Bell Labs, and Avaya Labs for more than 20 years, specializing in systems-level software and solutions, multimedia communication, and customer-relationship management. In 1996, she was awarded the Bell Labs Fellow Award, the highest technical accomplishment bestowed at the company. In 2004, she was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Department of Engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder, and in 2011, she was recognized with the university’s George Norlin Award, for distinguished lifetime service. She has been inducted into the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame and recently was named by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce to serve on the department’s Innovation Advisory Board. Sanders received her B.S. and M.S. in computer science from Louisiana State University and the University of Colorado Boulder, respectively.