Women in Technology and Entrepreneurship in NY Initiative


When I was going to college, I entered as
a computer science major and every time I would walk into a classroom people would kind
of look up with this look in their eye like “are you sure you belong here, like did you
walk in the right class room?” The initiative for women in technology in
New York is a really unique partnership between Cornell Tech and the City University of New
York and industry with the goal to encourage more young women to pursue education and careers
in technology. We’re starting to see computing in almost
every walk of life, so it’s important that everybody have opportunities to learn and
to become involved in this area. In particular, we have a national and a global problem that
women are extremely underrepresented. The essence of this initiative is really changing
the status quo. Our whole world is moving toward technology
if you want to be capable and competent, you need to know what technology is and how technology
works. Closing the gender gap in technology begins
with that first course, that first exposure that students have to computer science. This whole class has just been a breath of
fresh air. Having that ability to tell the computer what
to do is definitely a powerful feeling. When you get over the initial, daunting fear,
it’s simply just learning how computers talk and learning all of the syntax. It enables me to think differently than I
would have before. It empowers you as a person. WiTNY offers an incredible promise to young
women in New York to study in technology fields to be supported in that work. To have opportunities
for internships and experiential learning and then have exposure to exciting places
to pursue a career in the field of their choice. WiTNY is bringing together a cohort of young
women in undergraduate school, graduate school and women in industry so that they can serve
as role models for each other. This summer was like the first time I was
really surrounded by a lot of women. It motivated me that I could do it too. To really innovate, you have to have diversity
of thought and diversity of thought comes from diversity of backgrounds. So our interest
here is to see the full potential of women in computer science. Our goal is to make sure that the next generation
of young women in New York are empowered with the tech tools that they need to change the
world. It has creativity. It has rigor. It has depth.
And yet, you can take it across many disciplines. That’s really what the magic of computer science
is as a career. There’s so many possibilities with computer
science where there’s really no end to what you can do. You can apply it to whatever you passion is. It gives you that adventurers mindset. If
you can do this one thing, you can do another thing and once you do that you can conquer
the world.

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