Taking a bit of a break from the usual explorations into the world of the mobile web, mobile marketing, and all things MoFuse, for something still very mobile related and still very cool.
Blackberry has announced the launch of a scholarship program designed to support and nurture the entrance of more women into mobile technology-based industries.
There is a wealth of published articles that explore the significant gender gap that exists in tech. There is also the wealth of published articles that explore the already significant and still growing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) achievement gap that exists within the American educational system. Neither are problems that will easily be solved, but it’s certainly likely that the pursuit of a solution to either issue would need to include the pursuit of a solution to the other.
Lydia Depilles explores this idea in her recently published article: “How to Close The Tech Industry’s Gender Gap” where she discusses the issue, and identifies a number of the various hurdles and challenges that must be overcome if it’s to be resolved. Her core argument however is that the answer lies in the aggressive investment in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) educational programs (which, as she points out, would also benefit everybody). She also argues that a deeper cultural change must be made. A cultural change that would “…make all women feel like they belong [in tech], not just the exceptional ones who thrive in virtual isolation.”
Blackberry’s Scholars Program is a fantastic example of a company working to address both this gender gap, and the field achievement gap, by working to overcome many of the barriers that Depilles identifies, through a direct investment in the education and achievement of budding women mobile technologists. It’s a strong statement and a sorely needed initiative that we here at MoFuse loudly applaud and fully support.
And not just because MoFuse’s own CEO is herself an excellent example of the sort of impact that one can make within the mobile tech field, after successfully vaulting that gender gap and showing it what for.
For more information on the scholarship along with application information: http://global.blackberry.com/campaigns/scholarship/scholars-2013/overview.html