Equality and diversity foster innovation in every work environment. After many years of suppression, women now make up a commanding 57 percent of the professional U.S. workforce. While many strides have been taken to integrate women into a broad range of professional occupations, some fields still hold significant gender gaps. One of which, is technology.
The numbers are not very encouraging. Last year, only 26 percent of professional computing occupations were held by women. And in 2015, women only accounted for 18 percent of bachelor’s degrees in computer and information science. Although many fields have reached a point of gender equality, the tech world is still very much a boys’ club.
Now, multiple companies and universities are making it a priority to bridge the gender gap in technology.
Revature, a leading technology talent development company, is leading that charge. On July 17, the company announced that it is extending its strategic partnership with the City University of New York (CUNY) to include Women in Technology and Entrepreneurship in New York (WiTNY), a partnership between Cornell Tech, CUNY, and leading tech companies like Verizon and Accenture, so they can work together on multiple initiatives designed to include more women in technology.
“Our mission is to create the next generation of female software engineers,” Revature’s Chief Marketing Officer Joe Vacca told The University Network (TUN).
And that is exactly what the company has done. More than 3,500 CUNY students have taken Revature’s online coding classes since the Revature and CUNY’s joint program first started last September. Revature plans to hire 200 of those students upon graduation. But for those they can’t hire, the company still provides a platform to catapult young female students into a future in technology.
“We provide enterprise level training that will allow these women to accelerate their career in technology while also making deep connections with the leading women in technology, who will be providing them with career advice,” Vacca explained to TUN.
Revature, CUNY and WiTNY have developed a plan with three key initiatives to encourage females to pursue a career in technology.
The Program Initiatives
In September, Revature will kick off its industry-aligned coding program. This program is specifically geared towards women who are recent college graduates. Those who are accepted into the program will go through paid training sessions and have an opportunity to work on developing software for one of Revature’s corporate partners. Those accepted to this program will also have the opportunity to attend lectures by female leaders in technology.
The second initiative, which starts this fall, will provide female freshmen on several CUNY campuses with one-day introductory coding classes taught by Revature’s online mentors and trainers. The students will be introduced to coding and will build their own small applications. The goal is that these introductory classes will spark interest in young female students and encourage them to enroll in an introductory computer science course.
The third initiative is named the “rising seniors” program. It is intended to serve female CUNY students who have developed an interest in computer science over the course of college but originally chose a separate major. The program will enable women between their junior and senior years to attend an immersive enterprise-level coding program. After graduation, the students will be able to join Revature as software engineers.
“These new programs will open up innovative and alternative pathways for undergraduate women to find their way into tech careers, establishing a more robust pipeline for the next generation of women leaders in tech,” said WiTNY’s Program Director Judith Spitz in a statement.
The mission of WiTNY is to facilitate, encourage and enable a significant increase in the participation of women in both higher education and entrepreneurship in technology-related fields in the New York market.
The last day to apply for the Revature program is August 14, 2017.
Despite recent efforts to integrate, the tech field is still dominated by men. The gender gap, which limits creativity and innovation, is a significant concern, so it is critical that companies like Revature make a concerted effort to bridge the gap.
“We believe diversity is at the core of innovation,” Vacca told TUN. “Not just gender diversity, but diversity of thought. It is imperative that we close the gender gap in technology in order to maintain our leadership position in the world.”
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Jackson Schroeder is a graduate of Ohio University with a B.A. in Journalism from the E.W. Scripps School. He is originally from Savannah, Georgia. Jackson has covered a wide range of topics, including sustainability, technology, sports, culture, travel, and music. He plays bass and guitar, and enjoys playing and listening to live music in his free time.