Dell Technologies: Addressing the Gender Gap in Tech
Dell Technologies is working to promote equality and equity in the workforce. To do so, Dell is pledging that at least 50% of participants in its social and educational initiatives will be women or people from underrepresented groups.
Dell has already seen success with this goal in China from its collaboration with the Chinese Women’s Development Foundation. Since 2016, Dell Technologies has provided support for women at Chinese universities majoring in information and communication technology subjects. It has offered classes, workshops, and seminars to help women thrive in the tech industry.
“To align with our goals of increasing the number of women and underrepresented groups within the Dell Technologies workforce, we want at least half of the participants in our social and educational initiatives to be from those same groups.”
Honeywell: Using STEM Skills to Explore the Future of Fashion
Honeywell believes early STEM education will drive the next generation of innovators. The company recently joined forces with Kelly Oubre, an NBA player for the Charlotte Hornets, as well as Digi-Bridge, an educational non-profit, to provide 3D printers and teach students about how STEM can be implemented in the fashion industry. Students at Governors’ Village STEM Academy in Charlotte, North Carolina worked with Oubre to design accessories for him to wear to his games.
With the help of Honeywell, students transformed their fashion ideas into 3D-printed wardrobe items such as cuff-style bracelets, pendant necklaces and earrings.
“The project, a partnership between Honeywell, the Charlotte Hornets, and the education non-profit Digi-Bridge, got students thinking about how science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) can help power innovative fashion design.”
Zoom is committed to a future where all people and the environment are cared for. Their initiative, Zoom Cares, is creating that future by bringing the best of Zoom to help solve some of humanity’s biggest challenges. It deploys funding, technology and technical expertise to address issues in education, social inequity, climate change and mental health. It supports these goals by offering non-profit discounts, encouraging employee volunteerism and matching employee donations dollar-for-dollar.
“These dark and difficult times are illuminated by the people and organizations working tirelessly each and every day to care for their communities. Some are on the ground in local neighborhoods, and others are building networks worldwide. They are delivering essential services, helping to improve access to education and mental health care and providing a safe space for those who need it.” – Eric Yuan, CEO
Qualcomm: Inspiring the Next Generation of Inventors
Qualcomm is committed to nurturing and equipping future innovators with the skills and knowledge to solve global challenges. It works to foster a diverse and inclusive workforce by advancing STEM education for students at all levels and from all backgrounds.
Qualcomm’s Thinkabit Lab shows students how they can be part of inventing a wireless future through hands-on projects and has inspired 85,000 students as of 2021. Qualcomm also collaborates with FIRST, a leading nonprofit that engages PreK-12 students in robotics programs, and Million Girls Moonshot, which aims to inspire one million more girls to receive STEM education through after-school and summer opportunities by 2025.
“This challenge has opened my eyes to this new world of innovation, engineering and entrepreneurship that I never really saw myself pursuing in the past. I now see myself as more than just a female in this male-dominated field, but as an effective contributor and innovator in STEM.”
You can read more about Qualcomm’s work to inspire the next generation of inventors and about countless other projects for good here.
Oracle: Changing lives globally with free computing resources
Oracle Academy advances computing education around the world to increase knowledge, innovation, skills development and diversity in technology fields. By providing free tools and training, the program helps educators in more than 120 countries engage, inspire and prepare millions of students to become college and career-ready technology innovators and leaders.
“Now, more than ever, teachers need virtual resources to keep learners engaged. Oracle Academy supports its member educators with free teaching and learning resources, all available online using a browser.”
IBM Science for Social Good: Prescription Guidelines for Opioid Epidemic
IBM is in a unique position to uncover new insights to address the opioid epidemic. Its Science for Good program focuses on analyzing the relationship between factors surrounding an initial opioid prescription and a subsequent diagnosis of addiction. The goal is to identify causal (and not merely correlated) factors that lead to an addiction diagnosis.
IBM’s work represents the beginning of a long and potentially far-reaching mission to make inferences about undiagnosed individuals in order to offer guidelines on opioid prescriptions.
“Overall, our vision is to draw upon the richness of IBM’s claims and other healthcare data to deliver insights tailored to the needs of different stakeholders. With an epidemic of this magnitude, such joint efforts are clearly needed.”
Restoring 100 million trees by 2025 with the Priceless Planet Coalition
Human activity increasingly puts our planet’s most essential forests at risk. MasterCard wants to combat this threat. That’s why The Priceless Plant Coalition will employ a forest restoration model dedicated not only to the planting of 100 million trees, but also to the regrowing of forests in geographies that represent the greatest global need.
“The green transition is happening, but not at the speed needed. As citizens, businesses, and societies, we need to cut emissions faster and deeper and at the same time step up efforts to preserve land and forests and enhance natural sinks.”
Children with cancer often experience isolation during an already difficult time in their lives. Hopecam helps them connect with their friends, their classrooms, and their support systems while going through treatment. Each child receives a tablet computer with a webcam and internet access in their home. Hopecam relies on Logitech video conferencing technology to provide essential face-to-face contact.
“Hopecam’s mission is to allow children to socialize, sharing the normal events and conversations of childhood, from celebrating a birthday to checking out who has lost a tooth.”
Building community and boosting grades with esports
GOAL High School is constantly seeking creative ways to engage its at-risk students. That’s why it turned to Lenovo to help found its first-ever esports league. Lenovo donated time and expertise to build an esports program from the ground up — and founded a $20,000 scholarship in the process. The program motivates students to complete their academic work and gives them a sense of purpose.
GOAL isn’t the only academic institution supported by Lenovo. At the University of North Carolina, the company recently constructed a massive gaming arena equipped with nearly 40 top-of-the-line Legion computers, designed especially for gaming, along with keyboards and headsets. Lenovo also provides expertise and ongoing tech support. The program has grown from 300 to 800 students in just three years.
“As a longtime champion of data, creativity, and connectivity, Lenovo offers a multitude of resources for academic institutions, such as financial support, student scholarships, infrastructure, licensing assistance, and of course, expertise.”
Salesforce has been leading the charge for equal pay for women since 2015, with their leadership being called on to spread their knowledge and experience across sectors from news organizations, industry events, and multiple White House administrations. Salesforce has also advanced from just working towards women’s equal pay to incorporating considerations for race, as minorities – especially minority women – are systemically paid less than their white and/or male counterparts. Salesforce’s years of work in pay equity has not only improved the lives of their employees but also pushed the rest of the tech sector to improve their payment methods in order to stay competitive – truly a rising tides raise all ships scenario.
“While there is more work to be done in order to reach pay equity across the board, Salesforce has shown year after year that they are up to the challenge. CEOs with one button on one computer can pay every man and every woman equally,” Salesforce Chairman and CEO Marc Benioff said. “We have the data.”
In 2021, analysis found that 3.5% of Salesforce’s global employees required adjustments. Of those, 81% were based on gender, and 19% were based on race or ethnicity. As a result, Salesforce spent $3.8 million to address any unexplained differences in pay, making their investments towards equal pay a total of more than $16 million to date.
Tech is a crucial ingredient to shared prosperity and a more equitable, secure society that enjoys better health outcomes and superior educational opportunities for all. Good policy can make our lives better, ensure our economy is strong and support good jobs and opportunities in which innovation can flourish.
The State of the Union comes this week as the list of pressing issues to address seemingly grows longer by the day. It is important to ensure that industry and government are working together to deliver a future that Americans deserve.
ITI understands that the tech industry must serve as an important partner in helping drive critical policy initiatives to promote U.S. competitiveness and lift up the U.S. economy. The Bridge for Innovation campaign underscores this spirit of innovation, partnership, and the importance of smart and purposeful policy.
ITI has put forward several policy priorities where the United States can make significant progress in 2022 for the benefit of businesses, workers, and consumers across virtually every sector of the economy. The below priorities included in ITI’s suggestions mirror the policy focus of the Bridge for Innovation campaign.
Support Technology Research, Development, and Manufacturing
Advance a Tax System that Promotes Growth and is Globally Competitive
Accelerate Broadband Deployment to all U.S. Communities
Pass Federal Privacy Legislation
Ensure A Consistent and Coordinated Approach to Cybersecurity
Bolster Supply Chain Security
Equity and Opportunity
Expand Strong, Inclusive Digital Trade Commitments
Develop the Workforce of the Future
Read ITI’s Action Plan for 2022 to see how the global technology industry is committed to driving America’s economic competitiveness.
In addition, Intel will be providing $400,000 in funding as part of its RISE Technology Initiative, Dell Technologies will be providing technical expertise to allow the 10 selected schools to teach students in-person, hybrid, or online, and AACC will support the implementation of the AI labs in colleges that choose to participate in this program.
“Building upon Intel’s partnership with the American Association of Community Colleges and Dell by establishing incubators for emerging technology education across the U.S. will provide greater access to critically needed technical skills and training in AI. This specialized program is a starting point for the next generation of U.S. technologists, engineers and inventors to expand their innovative thinking and go on to land careers in all sectors of the digital economy.”
— Michelle Johnston Holthaus, Intel executive vice president and general manager of the Client Computing Group
Mastercard Programs Focus on Black Female Small Business Owners
Small business owners across the U.S. were disproportionately impacted by shut-downs prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 40 percent of Black-owned businesses across the U.S. shut down between February and April of 2020, according to a study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
To help small businesses owners recover, MasterCard has launched a number of programs to help, including the Strivers Initiative, a platform to increase the visibility of Black female business owners.
The initiative includes a grant program in partnership with Fearless Fund, a VC fund built by women of color for women of color. The partnership will also promote digital tools Mastercard has built to help small businesses build and bolster their digital presence and reach customers online.
Mastercard had previously announced a half-billion-dollar commitment to support Black communities over the next five years. That includes products, services, technology and financial support, as well as concentrated investments focusing on Black-owned businesses and providing Black people access to affordable financial tools and capital. Part of this program is focused on helping small businesses move online and provide access to products and services to potential customers.
Mastercard provides aSmall Business Digital Readiness Diagnostic, a free online tool to help entrepreneurs understand their strengths and weaknesses across digital, and theDigital Doorscurriculum, which helps ensure businesses have the right tools to maximize their digital presence.
Intel Launches and Expands AI Degree Program Across the U.S.
The Intel AI® for Workforce Program launched in 2020 in partnership with the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) in Arizona to create the first Intel-designed artificial intelligence (AI) associate degree program in the U.S.
MCCCD is one of the largest community colleges in the U.S. with more than 100,000 students across 10 campuses. With this degree program, students will learn fundamental skills such as data collection, AI model training, coding and ethics. In addition, Intel contributes technical advice, faculty training, summer internships and mentorships for students and faculty members.
In 2021, Intel announced a major expansion of its AI for Workforce Program across the U.S. The program had been added in 18 institutions across 11 U.S. states that serve a total of 800,000 students, and plans to expand to 50 more community and vocational colleges in 2022 are underway.
Programs like this are incredibly important to keeping the U.S. workforce competitive and ensure that Americans are keeping up with the global demand for artificial intelligence skills that are expected to grow exponentially. Learn more about the AI associate degree program here.
Innovation depends upon the inclusion of diverse voices and experiences across all industries. Good tech policy must prioritize diversity, equity and inclusion.
Considerations of how policies affect all communities – including those that are underrepresented and marginalized – must be weaved into all technology priorities to help ensure a more equitable, inclusive, and fair innovation-based economy. Including more people of color, girls and women in STEM-related fields will lead to greater innovation by broadening the marketplace of ideas and bringing in new viewpoints and life experiences.
The technology industry is working to address the dire need for change and inclusion, increased support and opportunities to encourage more minorities, girls, and women to pursue and succeed in STEM careers. Companies are working with non-profits and educational institutions to develop new strategies to help close the gender gap in STEM for teachers, parents and nonprofit leaders.
Good policy ensures that minority communities are included in the workforce of tomorrow and supporting extending workplace protections to nontraditional workers. It means increased federal investments in Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) and supporting closing gender, racial, and socio-economic gapsin the STEM field to ensure that no one is left behind. That includes developing and adopting inclusive policies and technologies that increase accessibility for Americans with disabilities.
Immigration reform is vital to attracting top talent and providing equitable access to unfilled opportunities in the United States.
As the U.S. economy creates tech jobs faster than Americans can fill them, immigration reform can help to fill tens of thousands of skilled job openings that exist today, while accelerating the creation of new jobs and knowledge-driven businesses. ITI is a leading advocate before the U.S. Congress and key federal agencies for immigration reforms that improve the ability of U.S.-based companies to recruit and retain highly-skilled foreign graduates and professionals who bring fresh perspectives and ideas that drive the innovation economy.
The technology industry provides a bridge to a global marketplace, with the U.S. serving as a prime destination for attracting technology innovators and entrepreneurs from other countries around the world. Working to develop immigration reform that enables the kind of innovation and job creation that fulfills the demands of tomorrow’s economy. Supporting effective reforms that will make it easier for the world’s best talent to work in the U.S. alongside the innovators, entrepreneurs, and talented individuals in our domestic workforce.
Good policy supports immigration reform that successfully meets the demands of a globally competitive, digital economy by updating the H-1B visa program. It means advancing legislative proposalsthat reform the employment-based visa program and finding a legislative solution for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients.
High quality educational opportunities should be available for all Americans, not just those who live in certain zip codes.
In the global innovation economy, the American workforce is falling behind on the skills needed for tomorrow’s high-paying technology and science jobs. Greater investment in STEM programs is needed to ensure that our workforce maintains a competitive advantage in the global innovation economy. Technology allowed for wide-scale implementation of online learning at a moment’s notice when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. It will continue to allow educators, students, and institutions to reimagine how tech can help to provide further flexibility, increase access, and promote equity in education.
Good policy supports long-term educational policy solutions that empower American students from primary to higher education to excel in STEM fields. It means increased investment in basic research at U.S. universities, which often leads to next-generation innovations and new businesses and jobs. It means increased funding for STEM and computer science education as well as apprenticeships, technical training programs and workforce development with a technology focus. Public-private partnerships can help ensure that American students and workers have the right set of digital tools for the future.