MORRISVILLE, N.C. – Sally Ride, the first female U.S. astronaut to reach space, will help give a boost to efforts to encourage more girls to pick engineering as a profession with a webcast today from Lenovo’s headquarters.

Lenovo, the world’s third largest PC manufacturer, is hosting a “Global Marathon For, By and About Women in Engineering” from its new complex. Lenovo has pledged ongoing support for the women in engineering effort put on by the National Engineers Week Foundation and the Global Marathon.

Thursday’s event is the third one in the series.

Also participating in the Web cast will be Fran O’Sullivan, senior vice president of Lenovo Product Group.

O’Sullivan was part of the team that helped launch the space shuttle Columbia in 1981 and is a veteran of the development of personal computers.

"Lenovo is focused on cultivating a diverse and talented pipeline of engineers. By reaching students early, we can help them overcome the subtle social obstacles that often turn school-age girls away from technical professions,"” O’Sullivan said. "This is our way of inspiring the next generation of women engineers by exposing them to a wide showcase of role models who have built distinguished careers in technical fields."