Closing the Tech Gender Gap: #WiTNY

It has been very exciting to watch the unveiling of an important new program, Women in Technology and Entrepreneurship in New York (WitNY).  This partnership between CUNY (City University of New York), Cornell Tech and Verizon strives to increase the number of young women studying and working in technology.  The percentage of women now graduating with technology degrees is less than 1%.  That’s intolerable.

HASTAC, the Futures Initiative, FemTechNet and other organizations are working to foster a climate where women can thrive in the realms of technology, including in digital humanities and in data-driven areas of the social sciences where women are significantly underrepresented.  As Chancellor Milliken says in this excellent video, we know that diversity of perspectives and backgrounds yields greater innovation.  This initiative is not just good for women; it is crucial for technology too.

CUNY Chancellor James Milliken said: “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.”

Here’s the press release:

Published on Mar 21, 2016

Cornell Tech, The City University of New York (CUNY), and founding partner Verizon Communications have 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 supporting the initiative including charter member Accenture as well as the Citi Foundation, IBM, Xerox, JPMorgan Chase, AppNexus and Grand Central Tech.

Women in Technology and Entrepreneurship in NY Initiative


The Futures Initiative
The Graduate Center, CUNY
365 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10016-4309