IBM Offers 1000 Paid Internships To Increase Diversity In Tech
Diversity is the cornerstone of our society, it is what makes it great, vibrant and successful. In the past, I have written that diversity is ingrained in nature itself, is vital component to the survival of the planet. Moreover, according to research conducted in the business sector, diverse companies produce 19% more revenue thereby indicating that diversity is vital to the success of the commercial world. Thus, ensuring diversity, and increasing it in areas where it lacks, is an important endeavor of our society.
It is no secret that certain fields, such as the STEM field, are fields were women and minorities are underrepresented. The STEM field is one that drives innovation in our society, as all technological progresses are derived from the advances and discoveries made in the fields of STEM. Most of the products we use in our day to day life could not have been made possible without STEM innovation. The computer one uses today, the technology that makes video calls possible with a friend in a distant geography or the laparoscopic surgery performed for life threatening diseases, all of these could not have been possible without innovation. In addition to that the start-up ecosystem has greatly contributed to the economic growth and proliferation of technology in our society. However, as I’ve written in the past women make up only 7% of board seats in private companies, such as those of start-ups.
Thus, when we look at the data that we have some work to do in the ways we cultivate more diverse presence in the fields of STEM, and in the start-up ecosystem. Access is an important part of it, and as I have recently written, mentorship plays an important role in the success of an individual. In order to increase the diversity in tech, IBM has announced that it is creating 1,000 paid internships for P-TECH graduates in the USA, until the end of 2021. The P-TECH is a unique educational program that has over 220 school partners and 600 industry partners, and provides an opportunity, for free, for students to earn both their high school diploma and a two–year associate degree linked to STEM fields. This program is geared toward students from underserved backgrounds, allowing them to gain access and skills in order to get a competitive STEM job. IBM usually hired 150 inters per year, but this time they have made a commitment to increase this number to 1000 in order to increase diversity.
As I’ve written in the past that increasing the number of minds working on the world’s most challenging problems will only increase the prosperity in our country, the probability to eradicate diseases and build world class companies.