CUNY, Cornell Tech and Verizon Launch Initiative to Bring More Women into Tech

PIPELINE STRATEGY: The percentage of computer science graduates who are women has fallen from 37 to 18 percent over roughly 30 years. Cornell Tech, the CUNY system and Verizon want to help turn this around with a new initiative to encourage more women to pursue careers and education in technology.

Women in Technology and Entrepreneurship in New York (WiTNY) is a series of programs targeting a range of female scholars, from rising college freshmen to those considering a Ph.D.:

  • Rising CUNY freshman, regardless of intended major, may enroll in a free—with paid stipend—two-week summer program that introduces them to product design, principles of coding and entrepreneurship.
  • CUNY undergrads with little or no background in computer science may enroll in a new course introducing computer science as “a powerful, if not essential, tool for solving the world’s problems,” according to the press release. The course covers computing concepts, software development basics and computational thinking. An earlier pilot will expand for the 2016-17 academic year.
  • CUNY undergrads already majoring in a technology-related field will have access to additional scholarships, internships and fellowships, a speaker series with industry leaders and “a professional network of female colleagues.”
  • Students considering a master’s degree or Ph.D. in technological disciplines may apply for additional fellowships through the initiative.
  • General members of the Cornell Tech community may also participate in a variety of related workshops, speaker series, volunteer opportunities and “a network of female colleagues and executives.”

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