The mission of the Women in Technology and Entrepreneurship in New York initiative is 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. Through strategic initiatives and purposeful integration with key institutions and program in the city of New York, WiTNY targets high school girls getting ready for college, undergraduate and graduate women, preparing them to secure a rewarding and lucrative position in the technology industry.

An Introduction to WiTNY

Our First Year

Watch an overview of what we accomplished in our first year.

WiTNY at Cornell Tech

If you are interested in WiTNY at Cornell Tech, or want to know more about Cornell Tech, click here.

Cornell Tech, CUNY, and Founding Partner Verizon Announce Women in Technology and Entrepreneurship in NY Initiative

Innovative New Computer Science Curricula To Be Piloted Across CUNY Campuses

New Scholarship, Internship, and Community Programs to Support College-Bound and College-Aged Women Interested in Tech Careers

NEW YORK CITY – Cornell Tech, The City University of New York (CUNY), and founding partner Verizon Communications today announced a new tech education initiative targeting young women in the undergraduate and graduate school pipeline that aims to increase the number of women working in technology. While the number of women attending college increases, according to the National Center for Educational Statistics, the percentage of women who graduate with degrees in technology-related disciplines is less than 1%. In fact, as the tech job market booms, the percentage of computer science degrees awarded to women has declined by 19% over the past 30 years. The new Women in Technology and Entrepreneurship in NY (WiTNY) initiative will provide the access, incentives, and support needed for girls and women to succeed in the tech industry. With Verizon as the founding partner, a growing list of companies are sponsoring the initiative including charter member Accenture as well as Citi Foundation, IBM, Xerox, JPMorgan Chase, and Grand Central Tech. Read More

 

To expand access to computer science at CUNY – the largest, most diverse public college system in the U.S. where more than 60% of the student population is female – Cornell Tech and CUNY are partnering on the development of programs designed to broaden the participation of women. The first of these, a new introductory computer science course, was recently piloted at CUNY’s Macaulay Honors College, with additional leadership in program planning and implementation provided by Queens College, LaGuardia Community College, College of Staten Island, and City Tech. The WiTNY initiative is also offering summer programs in technology product design and entrepreneurism for graduating high school senior girls en route to CUNY, scholarships for CUNY undergraduate women, internships and community support for women committed to pursuing computer science and related technology disciplines. Program partners include the NYC Tech Talent Pipeline and the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT).

“At Cornell Tech, we are committed to building and diversifying the base of the technology talent in New York City,” said Dan Huttenlocher, Dean of Cornell Tech. “Due to lack of access, awareness and encouragement, women are a significant minority when it comes to tech education and employment. The tech industry is losing out on their diverse input and skills. The new Women in Technology and Entrepreneurship program has the potential to mobilize the next generation of female technology pioneers through educational opportunities, internships, and mentorship, and could serve as a model to increase the number of women in tech nationally. ”

“We are delighted to be joining Verizon and Cornell Tech in designing the Women in Technology and Entrepreneurship in New York initiative to deliver the tech-ready employees that will keep our knowledge economy growing,” said Chancellor James B. Milliken. “CUNY has one of the most talented and diverse student bodies in the country and this initiative is a tremendous opportunity to recruit and retain women who will move up to exciting careers in technology, providing NYC employers with the technology to connect to customers and grow their business.”

“Innovation accelerates when there is diversity in the workforce. As a nation, we have an opportunity to better mobilize a critical segment of tomorrow’s tech pioneers: women. Verizon is partnering with WiTNY and driving a programmatic approach to addressing this critical workforce issue,” said Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam. “Verizon is proud to support this public-private partnership, bringing together a growing list of corporate partners with two powerhouse academic institutions.”

“It’s not enough to just say that corporations will work hard to recruit a diverse workforce because when it comes to women in tech, the pipeline is both too narrow and leaky,” said Judith Spitz, Verizon’s Executive in Residence at Cornell Tech, who is leading the initiative. “We can’t solve the workforce issue with literally half the team sitting on the bench. We have to be intentional and programmatic in our efforts to incent and encourage undergraduate and graduate women to take advantage of the incredible opportunities that are there for them in the tech industry and the digital economy.”

“The technology industry is among the fastest growing and highest paying sectors in New York City today, representing 291,000 jobs and $30 billion in wages annually. But there exists a talent gap: our business struggle to fill open positions, and technology jobs remain out of reach for many New Yorkers who lack access to industry-informed technology education,” said Kristen Titus, Founding Director of the NYC Tech Talent Pipeline, a tech industry partnership launched by Mayor de Blasio in 2014. “WiTNY is a tremendous example of the kind of collaborations that are necessary to better equip a broader pool of New Yorkers with the 21st century skills needed to pursue rewarding careers in tech.”

By 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. will be graduating only 52% of the needed Computer Science and IT workforce from our universities. Technology is the only STEM discipline where the participation of women has been declining. This holistic WiTNY program, targeting women across many different education levels, highlights Cornell Tech’s mission to launch women on career paths of impact, opportunity, and influence. WiTNY provides women with the access, awareness and encouragement necessary to fully participate in the booming digital economy.