AnitaB.org Insights

Students Increased Interest in Technical Careers and Gained Opportunities at GHC 19 as a Result of the Inaugural Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) Community Cohorts Program

The inaugural MSI Community Cohorts program at the 2019 Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC 19) was a massive success, with participants overwhelmingly reporting that their attendance increased their interest in exploring a career in technology as well as increasing their sense of belonging in the field of computer science. Engaging with MSIs, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic Serving Institutions, and Tribal Colleges and Universities, is a key strategy of AnitaB.org to achieve 50/50 intersectional gender equity in tech by 2025.

This year’s MSI Community Cohorts program facilitated the attendance of 145 students, alumnae, and faculty at GHC 19, allowing them to experience a diverse array of panels and sessions, keynotes, presentations, and the world’s largest career fair for women in tech, as well as opportunities for pre-GHC interview and resume support. Donations from corporate sponsors supported the attendance of 82 participants from MSIs, while AnitaB.org supported the attendance of an additional 63 participants.

IBM led the way with a generous donation of $150,000 to the program. This substantial investment in creating gender equity in tech provided 60 students and faculty with the opportunity to participate in GHC 19. Upon learning of this effort, Amazon quickly engaged with a commitment to support an additional 10 students, and from that the “MSI Challenge” was born. PwC and Ernst & Young joined in this awesome effort to bring more talent from MSIs to Orlando for GHC. Together their commitment, passion, and contributions enabled AnitaB.org to significantly increase the number of participants in this inaugural program.

The post-event survey sent to Cohort participants revealed some encouraging data about the impact attending GHC 19 had on these students. Some highlights from the survey data include:

  • 90% of survey responders agreed that attending GHC increased their interest in exploring a potential career opportunity in computer science.
  • 93% of survey responders agreed that attending GHC increased their sense of belonging in the field of computer science.
  • 96% of survey responders made new connections with companies at the GHC Career Fair.
  • 58% of those seeking internships or jobs interviewed for an internship or job while at GHC.
  • 19% of those seeking internships or jobs secured an internship or job while at GHC.

AnitaB.org is very appreciative of the generous sponsorship donations provided by IBM, Amazon, PwC, and Ernst & Young to encourage and support students at MSIs across the country.

Learn more about our MSI Cohort Challenge here.