Melinda Gates has announced a $US50 million ($74.7 million) initiative to help encourage more women to follow tech pathways.
The scheme, which is to be led by Gates’s philanthropic group Pivotal Ventures, will see the development of three tech inclusive tech hubs across the US.
To be known as Gender Equality in Tech Cities, Pivotal Ventures says the sites are “designed to accelerate the representation and leadership of women in tech”.
“Pivotal Ventures is focused on building pathways and putting women on the fast-track to enter into and advance in influential sectors, such as technology, entrepreneurship, and investing, and this initiative is taking a city-specific lens to tackle that challenge,” Gates’s group said.
As GeekWire points out, when Gates was first hired by Microsoft in 1987, women comprised of 37 per cent of computer science graduates. This number has now dropped to 18 per cent.
In terms of women employed in the US tech sector, the number currently sits at 26 per cent. However, this number is “considerably lower” in fast-growing tech spaces such as artificial intelligence, Pivotal Ventures says.
“As the tech industry continues to grow beyond Silicon Valley, stakeholders must actively start shaping the cultures of these emerging tech hubs to be supportive of women from the start and connecting local initiatives for women in tech that remain fragmented and subscale,” said Pivotal Ventures.
“By engaging early and activating both the supply side (academia, startups) and the demand side (industry, venture investment), emerging tech hubs can grow while also creating more effective pathways for women into tech and entrepreneurship.”
To hear from some of Australia’s top female tech talent, get your tickets to B&T‘s Women Leading Tech event, taking place on April 8 in Sydney.
You can also submit your award entries here. Entries close next Wednesday (Febrary 5).
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