Donna Milgram is founder and Executive Director of the Institute for Women in Trades, Technology & Science (IWITTS), a California-based national nonprofit organization dedicated to helping educators close the gender gap for women and girls in trades, technology and science. IWITTS’ solutions include research-based trainings, publications, products and technical assistance.
Donna is currently the Principal Investigator of the CalWomenTech Scale Up Project, National Science Foundation (NSF) grant awarded June 1, 2011 to increase the enrollment and retention of women in community college technology programs nationwide. This project builds on the work of IWITTS’ previous NSF-funded project — The CalWomenTech Project, which concluded in June 2011. The CalWomenTech Project was highlighted by NSF in 2009 for demonstrating significant achievement and program effectiveness in its efforts to recruit and retain more women in trades and technology programs to eight California community colleges.
Donna has developed extensive resource publications; produced an instructional DVD and conducted hundreds of workshops on recruiting and retaining women in technology education and related occupations at national WomenTech workshops, national and state conferences and for state, regional and local educational institutions.
Donna is a nationally recognized expert on women and workforce development issues. Ms. Milgram has been quoted in The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune and numerous education journals and has appeared on CNN, Fox Morning News and C-Span and as a guest expert on National Public Radio for The Merrow Report-“Girls and Technology: Closing the Gender Gap.”
Donna has testified before Congress as an expert witness on the sexual harassment of women in nontraditional occupations. She has also testified before Congress on the School-To-Work Opportunities Act about the absence of young women from many U.S. Department of Labor school-to-work demonstration sites. Ms. Milgram spent a year on Capitol Hill in the office of Congresswoman Connie Morella (MD), as a Congressional Fellow on Women and Public Policy. She developed two bills on nontraditional employment. The Women in Apprenticeship Occupations and Nontraditional Occupations Act (PL 102-350), authored by Ms. Milgram on behalf of Congresswoman Morella, was signed into law in 1992. The Commission on the Advancement of Women and Minorities in Science, Engineering, and Technology Development Act (PL 105-255) was signed into law in October 1998.
Donna graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania and received a Masters degree from the University of Maryland, where she was valedictorian for her school.
In Donna’s spare time she enjoys travelling internationally. Her most recent trip was to Senegal where she visited the nongovernmental organization “10,000 Girls.” Back home in the Bay Area she enjoys hiking, long walks on the beach in Alameda, salsa dancing, the arts and ethnic dining. In the past she has volunteered as a board member for the local Girls Inc. in Alameda and as a Commissioner for the Alameda Economic Development Commission.