Class of 1992
In her childhood, Ruthe Farmer, BA ’92, moved more than 68 times but mostly grew up on the West coast. She majored in communications and German studies at Lewis & Clark and studied abroad in Munich. After a career in both agency and client-side advertising and marketing, Farmer turned her attention to gender issues in 2001. “I was astounded to learn about amazing women, who overcame enormous obstacles to accomplish what they did, but were literally absent from my K-12 educational experience. How are girls supposed to aspire, if we don’t even tell them about the amazing role models that exist?”
Ruthe began working in gender equity issues as Manager of Technology & Engineering Education for Girl Scouts of the U.S.A, and implemented national programs and partnerships to increase girls’ participation in science, technology, engineering and math. She is currently Director of Strategic initiatives at the National Center for Women & Information Technology, an organization dedicated to achieving gender parity in computing and information technology and driving improved innovation through diversity.
She was among 11 individuals recognized in 2013 by the White House as “Champions of Change for Tech Inclusion.” The Champions of Change were honored for their extraordinary work in expanding technology opportunities for young learners—especially minorities, women, and girls, and others from communities historically underserved or underrepresented in tech fields.
Ruthe has served on the NCWIT Leadership Team and as the co-chair of the NCWIT K-12 Alliance, on the National Girls Collaborative Project Champions Board, the FIRST Robotics Girls FIRST Advisory Board, and was a founding board member of Springboard Innovation, a nonprofit dedicated to incubating grass roots social entrepreneurs. She sits on the Lewis & Clark College Board of Alumni, is an ambassador for the University of Oxford Said Business School, and is also a founding board member of Her Story Media, a nonprofit media production company that tells the stories of technical women. In February 2012, she was named as the Chair for Computer Science Education Week 2012.
Ruthe completed an M.B.A in social entrepreneurship and marketing at the University of Oxford and is interested in how existing networks can be leveraged to realize social change. While she enjoyed her time in England, she said, “Oxford was so different than attending school in the U.S. The system is extremely formal and very steeped in tradition, which can be both a good and bad thing.”
She has taught water aerobics for more than 10 years, loves growing vegetables, herbs and flowers all mixed together, and enjoys knitting scarves, hats and gloves from yarn gathered throughout her travels. She has visited 23 countries and is looking forward to more.
She currently lives in Lafayette, Colorado, which is a small town 7 miles (or $120K) outside of Boulder.