Today, global nonprofit AnitaB.org announced Amazon’s commitment to donate $25,000 to support 10 women from Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), including Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic Serving Institutions, and Tribal Colleges and Universities, in attending the AnitaB.org Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC) 2019. Amazon joins IBM who previously made a generous donation of $150,000 to support women technologists attending GHC by funding 60 students from Minority Serving Institutions to attend this year’s event.
In 2018, AnitaB.org made a commitment to intentionally expand efforts to engage women of color in various opportunities and access to resources, including deepening relationships with esteemed Minority Serving Institutions. AnitaB.org is identifying an intersectional mix of students to participate in these efforts, while also building alliances with the institutions and leaders that serve them, to provide a disruptive and inclusive pathway that will propel underrepresented students towards a future in tech.
Amazon and AnitaB.org challenge other tech industry companies to contact email@example.com and match their donation to support MSI women technologists’ attendance at GHC and commit a representative from their company to an on-site GHC conversation of strategies for the industry to further band together in support for women of color in tech, at GHC and beyond.
“Investment from companies like Amazon and IBM are so important in reaching the AnitaB.org goal of 50/50 intersectional gender parity for women in tech by 2025. When I started at AnitaB.org one of my first requests was to see data. There were nearly 10,000 resumes in the GHC resume database at that time, a resource used by most companies in their recruitment at GHC. Notably, only 47 of those resumes were from HBCU students, who represented only 14 of the 102 HBCUs. We see similar trends when examining data for students from other MSIs as well,” said Brenda Darden Wilkerson, President and CEO of AnitaB.org. “This comes down to opportunity and access. Donations from Amazon and IBM open the opportunity for women of color to access an event like GHC and provides them with the necessary support in attending. What I love most about this call to action, driven by companies, is the challenge to take industry wide action on coordinated opportunities to scale support for women of color.”
Students who attend GHC are empowered to jumpstart their careers through sessions, workshops, and other opportunities for both graduate and undergraduate students. GHC helps attendees gain knowledge, make new connections, and create a successful future. Access to the expo hall to hand out resumes and participate in on-the-spot interviews and to interactive small group mentoring sessions that provide personalized advice regarding attendee’s career or academic endeavors are examples of the benefits of attending.
AnitaB.org is implementing several actions to help reach its 50/50 intersectional gender parity by 2025 goal. Other programs include the Building, Recruiting, and Inclusion for Diversity (BRAID) Initiative, the Top Companies for Women Technologists national program, and the PitcHER competition. Learn more about AnitaB.org programs at their website: https://anitab.org/.
AnitaB.org is a nonprofit social enterprise committed to increasing the representation of women technologists in the global workforce. AnitaB.org engages with tens of thousands of women and leading organizations around the world to build diverse and inclusive workplace cultures. Founded in 1997 by our namesake, computer science visionary Anita Borg, our organization works toward a future where the teams that create technology mirror the people and societies for whom they build it.