Opportunities for you to help level the playing field.

At the San Francisco Bay Area She's Geeky conference this past weekend, I had the opportunity to chat with an awesome woman from the Level Playing Field Institute about some of the initiatives that organization is undertaking to understand bias in various work and educational environments and to do something about it.

One of these is an anonymous survey of IT engineers and managers, and employees in tech start-ups. The description of the survey notes:

This anonymous survey explores the experiences and perceptions of employees within the Information Technology industry. ... This survey is part of a research study entitled Understanding Bias and Fairness in IT Environments.

The survey runs through tomorrow (February 3, 2011), but if you complete it, you will receive a $10 Amazon giftcard and be entered to win a 32GB iPad. So if you have some experiences of IT from the inside, why not click over and take the survey?

Even if you're not in IT, there are other initiatives they're doing that may be of interest to you. For example, they run SMASH (Summer Math and Science Honors) Academy, reaching out to high-achieving, low income high school students of color in the Bay Area:

Our goal is to help SMASH students be admitted to top-tier colleges and universities where they can continue their STEM studies.

SMASH scholars spend five weeks each summer in UC Berkeley or Stanford dorms while they are immersed in rigorous classes. They also receive year-round support to stay on track for academic success.

If you know a student who might benefit from this program, the application deadline is February 21, 2011. Here's the FAQ, and the link for students to apply.

The SMASH program is also looking for instructors for these summer classes, with openings posted for instructors of algebra, pre-calculus, calculus, biology, chemistry, physics, and technical writing. If this sounds like you (or someone else you know who might be looking for a summer job), check out the job descriptions. Applications for SMASH instructor positions are all due February 15, 2011.

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