WeTech is driven by our partners’ shared vision of getting more women into the tech pipeline, from entry level to the C suite. - Trish Tierney, Executive Director of IIE’s Center for Women’s Leadership Initiatives
New York, NY (PRWEB) September 26, 2013
At the 2013 Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting this week, the Institute of International Education announced the launch of Women Enhancing Technology (WeTech), a new CGI Commitment to Action to help women and girls enter and succeed in technology careers. WeTech will train women and girls, build networks and offer professional opportunities across Africa, India and the United States, developing the skills needed to fuel technological and economic growth.
To achieve WeTech’s goal of greater impact through collaboration, IIE has brought together a powerful array of program partners, led by Google and Qualcomm Incorporated through its Qualcomm Wireless Reach™ initiative, along with Citrix, Goldman Sachs, Goldman Sachs Gives at the recommendation of Jane and Michael Chwick, Intel Corporation, Juniper Networks and McKinsey & Company. Additional partners include the Anita Borg Institute, Anudip, International Museum of Women, NetHope and Technovation Challenge. The U.S. Department of State Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues led a tech delegation to India in support of this commitment and has been a strategic advisor to WeTech.
Together, these program partners have committed funding, resources and employee expertise in the value of $4.2 million. As WeTech Manager, IIE aims to expand the consortium and grow its resources to $10 million over three years, in order to build out activities and expand to additional countries, such as Brazil and China.
“WeTech is driven by our partners’ shared vision of getting more women into the tech pipeline, from entry level to the C suite,” said Trish Tierney, Executive Director of IIE’s Center for Women’s Leadership Initiatives. “This is good for business and good for society. Career success will enable women to gain respect and influence in their offices, in their families, and in their communities.”
In the United States, the percentage of computer science bachelor’s, master’s, and PhD degrees awarded to women has declined from 32 percent in 2002 to 21 percent in 2012, and women make up only 18 percent of computer science bachelor’s degree recipients. Among Fortune 500 technology companies, women represent fewer than 14 percent of corporate officers and board of director positions. In India, fewer than 8 percent of senior positions at IT companies are held by women, with women filling 15 percent of mid-management level roles.
“Women and girls are chronically underrepresented in computer science and technology education programs and careers—this is a global challenge,” said Jacquelline Fuller, Director, Google Giving. “The world needs the minds, skills, and ideas of women to help spur new innovation and vision in the tech sector. WeTech is supporting new programs to ensure we are not only sparking interest in technology careers, but helping women ultimately flourish on that path.”
It is essential to engage more girls early in education and activities that inspire them and prepare them for university programs and careers paths in the tech industry. It is also critical to support women in the industry as they enter and progress in their careers, so they can access opportunities for economic and social advancement. Bridging this talent gap will also provide companies and economies with the diverse skills and perspectives necessary to thrive.
Despite early stage innovative programs working to engage girls at a young age and foster women’s technical skills and leadership abilities, much remains to be accomplished.
“We are pleased to be part of this collaboration which supports women and girls in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education,” said Peggy Johnson, Executive Vice President of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and President of Global Market Development for Qualcomm. “STEM skills serve as the building blocks for the next generation of scientists, inventors, engineers, and entrepreneurs, and it is our sincere hope that, through programs like WeTech, women around the world will continue to enter technology fields and become great inventors.”
WeTech aims to build a healthy pipeline by linking girls and women to university scholarships in engineering, leadership and technical skills training, mentors and internships that prepare for entrance and success in high-paying tech careers. These activities will initially be conducted in India and the United States. Girls will participate in interactive afterschool programs and meet inspiring role models. WeTech will launch a virtual mentoring program, creating a community to connect leading tech women with university women as they transition from studies into the workforce. WeTech mentoring will create a safe and accessible channel for women to support, connect and inspire each other within and across generations, borders and cultures.
In Africa, WeTech will award seed grants to individual women and NGOs for community activities and trainings that encourage and educate girls, parents and teachers about the power and opportunity related to pursuing tech careers. The WeTech Seed Fund for Women + Girls in Computer Science in Africa will award grants ranging from $2,000-$20,000 beginning in early 2014.
These efforts will be paralleled by a digital media and story-telling project designed to increase awareness of diverse global role models of women in STEM.
As the WeTech Manager, IIE is actively seeking new partners and resources to expand the program’s reach and impact. Individuals and organizations that wish to participate should contact IIE at WeTech(at)iie(dot)org or http://www.iie.org/WeTech.
About the Institute of International Education
IIE is a world leader in the international exchange of people and ideas. An independent, not-for-profit organization founded in 1919, IIE has a network of 19 offices and affiliates worldwide and over 1,200 member institutions. IIE designs and implements programs of study and training for students, educators, young professionals and trainees from all sectors with funding from government agencies, foundations, and corporations. Our vision is that educational, cultural and professional opportunities transcend borders to foster a peaceful and interconnected world where all people achieve their full potential; think and act as global citizens; and build inclusive, thriving communities. Through its Center for Women’s Leadership Initiatives, IIE provides opportunities for women worldwide to participate in cutting-edge training, professional development and exchange programs and pursue higher education. Through these programs, women develop and join networks of peers, mentors and experts and serve as effective leaders in the public and private sectors around the world.
About the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI)
Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an initiative of Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation, convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 150 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date CGI members have made more than 2,300 commitments, which are already improving the lives of more than 400 million people in over 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued at $73.5 billion. CGI also convenes CGI America, a meeting focused on collaborative solutions to economic recovery in the United States, and CGI University (CGI U), which brings together undergraduate and graduate students to address pressing challenges in their community or around the world, and, this year, CGI Latin America, livelihoods of people in Latin America and around world. For more information, follow us on Twitter @ClintonGlobal and Facebook at facebook.com/clintonglobalinitiative.
About Google Inc.
Google is a global technology leader focused on improving the ways people connect with information. Google’s innovations in web search and advertising have made its website a top Internet property and its brand one of the most recognized in the world. Google is a trademark of Google Inc. All other company and product names may be trademarks of the respective companies with which they are associated.
About Qualcomm and its Wireless Reach Initiative
Qualcomm believes access to 3G and next-generation mobile technologies can improve people’s lives. Qualcomm’s Wireless Reach is a strategic program that brings wireless technology to underserved communities globally. By working with partners, Wireless Reach invests in projects that foster entrepreneurship, aid in public safety, enhance the delivery of health care, enrich teaching and learning and improve environmental sustainability. For more information, please visit qualcomm.com/wirelessreach.
Qualcomm Incorporated is the world leader in 3G, 4G and next-generation wireless technologies. Qualcomm Incorporated includes Qualcomm’s licensing business, QTL, and the vast majority of its patent portfolio. Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, operates, along with its subsidiaries, substantially all of Qualcomm’s engineering, research and development functions, and substantially all of its products and services businesses, including its semiconductor business, QMC. For more than 25 years, Qualcomm ideas and inventions have driven the evolution of digital communications, linking people everywhere more closely to information, entertainment and each other. For more information, visit Qualcomm’s website, OnQ blog, Twitter and Facebook pages.