While women make up about half of the total workforce, they are statistically underrepresented in STEM: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Notably, women make up 25.4% of the computer science workforce, and BIWOC (Black, indigenous, and women of color) represent only 4.8% of the overall STEM workforce. (Source: NSF NCSES, 2019)
The gender gap starts in college; only around 21% of engineering majors and 19% of computer science majors are women. (Source: AAUW’s research report)
Prisma’s management strongly believes in taking action to help make the tech industry a more diverse and inclusive community. Initiatives already in place include flexible work policies, generous parental leave, employee donation matching, the financial support of non-profit organizations, and the creation of an open-source map of women in tech groups.
“When I studied Computer Science, less than 5% of students were female. This massive gap presents a challenge for any woman looking to enter the field, and without affirmative action, the gender balance will not correct itself.” says Søren Schmidt, CEO at Prisma Data, Inc. “Educational institutions worldwide have recognized this and worked hard to implement policies that support women. Companies must build on this effort to ensure success in education translates to success in the industry.”
To act at the education level, Prisma seeks to support women from underrepresented groups to study software engineering with a brand new scholarship program: Prisma Diversity in Engineering Scholarship.
This scholarship seeks to create long-lasting change in the tech community by improving the diversity of the industry’s talent pool.
The scholarship program is open to students that:
- Self-identify as female
- Self-identify as Black or African American; American Indian or Alaska Native; Hispanic or Latinx; Asian; Native Hawaiian, or other Pacific Islander.
- Are high school seniors or graduates, or current college undergraduates
- Want to pursue a degree in Software Engineering (computer science, computer engineering, etc.)
- Plan to enroll in full-time undergraduate study at an accredited fouryear U.S. college or university for the entire upcoming academic year
Prisma has partnered with Scholarship America® to coordinate the program. Two awards of $5,000 each will be granted. All applicants will be notified in mid-June, and the scholarship payments will be made in August.
Scholarship recipients will be selected based on their academic record, demonstrated leadership and participation in school and community activities, work experience, statement of educational and career goals, unique personal circumstances, and recommendation letter.
The scholarship recipients will also be considered for future internship and/or career opportunities at Prisma.
Applications close on April 18, 2022.