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Cisco Says 'Try IT, You'll Like IT'

High school girls in New York this week will have the opportunity to hear about IT career paths they might not have imagined for themselves in industries as diverse as aeronautics, biotechnology, publishing, fashion, and retail.

Cisco Systems Inc. will host a conference Wednesday geared toward young women in high school. The day-long session will educate attendees on the possibilities for a career in IT through its Women's Action Network (WAN).

It's the fourth event Cisco has hosted where students can gather to hear from experts in the IT field. They also can sign up to work with mentors to help them shape a career path. The focus is not solely on telecommunications or networking; analysis and programming in diverse industries will also be presented.

"It never occurs to some girls that women can work in the fashion industry and have a technology job," said Gene Longo, senior manager of the Cisco Networking Academy at Cisco Systems. "All industries are users of technology, and for a lot of young women they never thought they could work in publishing but have a job in technology."

The percentage of women receiving their bachelor degrees in the nation's top 70 to 80 research institutions is only about 18 percent, according to Lucy Sanders, chief executive officer of the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT).

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