Mayor De Blasio, Cornell Tech & Cuny Launch Winternship for WiT
NEW YORK -- Mayor de Blasio, Cornell Tech, and the City University of New York today launched a new winter internship program as part of the Women in Technology and Entrepreneurship in NY (WiTNY) initiative. The program, called a Winternship, will provide paid internships to up to 200 CUNY female students in their freshman or sophomore year who are studying computer science or related fields.
Today, Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen and dozens of companies gathered at Cornell Tech to craft their Winternship program in conjunction with the launch of a marketing campaign to encourage more companies to sponsor young women exploring degree and career opportunities in technology. The campaign will include digital advertising on social media platforms and on LinkNYC kiosks across the city.
Participating companies include Verizon, OATH, Accenture, Citi, Turner, AppNexus, Grand Central Tech, Bitly, Blackstone, and many others. The Winternships will occur during CUNY's winter break in January 2018.
"New York City is building the strongest tech sector for women anywhere in the country," said Mayor Bill de Blasio. "These are real investments that put more women on career paths in technology. We thank Cornell Tech, CUNY and our private sector partners for collaborating to help women build their skills and their resumes."
"Cornell Tech is proud to partner with CUNY and dozens of companies who are dedicated to launching the next generation of women in tech in New York," said Judith Spitz, Cornell Tech's WiTNY program director. "Winternships will give CUNY freshmen and sophomores that first 'foot in the door' and an early look into what their future in tech could be like as they build their skills, confidence, and network. We believe that with one or more of these experiences 'under their belt' and on their resumes, we will replace the obstacle course that these young women face with a glide path to success; giving them the opportunity to share in the benefits the tech industry affords."
"Women are vastly underrepresented in the technology workforce, and this new Winternship program is part of CUNY's comprehensive effort to address this problem," said Associate Vice Chancellor Andrea Shapiro Davis, who is leading the WiTNY program at CUNY. "These internships will not only provide new opportunities for our students, but will more broadly introduce the NY tech ecosystem to the strengths and talents of our diverse student population and show them that CUNY is a place to recruit the next generation of tech talent."
"New York is the best place to be a woman in tech, and the Winternship program is an example of that," said Julie Samuels, executive director of Tech: NYC. "It's refreshing and meaningful to see institutions like Cornell Tech and CUNY join with the private sector to support our future women leaders and to work together to realize the goal of a tech industry where women are truly equal."
Short internships early in their college careers will give these young CUNY women much needed exposure, experience and a set of credentials that make their resumes more competitive when it comes time to apply for 10-week summer internships, and ultimately full-time jobs. Giving young women these mini-internship experiences will help launch the careers of a new generation of women in tech in New York.
"People are New York City's greatest source of competitive advantage," said Lynn McMahon, New York Metro Office managing director, Accenture. "At a time when employers are facing a skills gap particularly in the technology field internships are an effective way for companies to reach previously untapped pools of talent. We believe that the Cornell Tech and the City University of New York winter internship program is critical to ignite greater interest in technology and ultimately build a stronger pipeline in New York City."
A digital advertising campaign on social media and LinkNYC kiosks will show the diverse group of women who have participated in other WiTNY programs to encourage more young women to pursue careers in tech. Through the campaign, WiTNY will also generate interest from additional companies who want to join the WiTNY network.
The City of New York, along with Cornell Tech and CUNY, are committed to encouraging more women to pursue careers in technology. As part of this mission, Cornell Tech, CUNY, and a growing number of corporations including Verizon, Accenture, IBM, Citi and Xerox have partnered to create WiTNY to facilitate, encourage, and enable a significant increase in the participation of women in both higher education and entrepreneurship in fields related to technology in the New York market. The City of New York has supported these efforts, facilitating industry-academia partnerships through its Tech Talent Pipeline and other initiatives to build a more inclusive tech ecosystem.
Over the past two years, graduates of TTP's industry-informed college programs have secured jobs across the NYC tech ecosystem at companies like Time, Inc., Viacom, JP Morgan Chase, and Goldman Sachs. Through the Mayor's TTP Academic Council, 16 presidents and provosts of public and private NYC colleges - including Columbia, NYU, Pace, Pratt Institute, and CUNY have also made commitments to further pathways to tech careers for an additional 1,300 New Yorkers.
WiTNY's strategy is to recruit more women by working with CUNY faculty to offer innovative introductory curricula -- both undergraduate courses as well as a unique summer program called the Summer Guild for women in between their last year of high school and first year at CUNY -- and retain them through scholarship incentives, career immersion via high tech internships, programming and mentorship to develop a robust community of tech women in New York.
To expand access to computer science at CUNY, Cornell Tech and CUNY partnered and developed curriculum that is being implemented at more than a dozen campuses. Building on this success, this past June, Mayor de Blasio announced a new comprehensive commitment to double the number of CUNY tech Bachelor's recipients who graduate ready to secure and succeed in tech jobs by 2022.
The City will highlight new investments in instruction, advising, and internships as well as industry commitments to meeting this goal at a Partners Summit on October 23.
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