Girls Re-Imagining Tomorrow
There is a staggering shortage of women in technology jobs. Girls Re-Imagining Tomorrow (GRIT) exists for the sole purpose of introducing diverse groups of middle school girls to technology-focused career possibilities, with an emphasis on cyber security and AI (Artificial Intelligence). Here’s why:
- The U.S. Department of Labor estimates 1.1 million computing-related job openings in the U.S. by 2024, with more than two-thirds going unfulfilled due to lack of a STEM talent pipeline
- The National Center for Women in Technology website states that, while 57% of undergraduate degrees went to women, only 19% of Computer and Information Sciences degree recipients were female
- Yet, an article in the Observer shows that about 74 percent of young girls express interest in STEM fields and computer science
That’s where GRIT comes in. In addition to giving young, bright, female minds access to corporate executives, real-world experiences and hands-on examples of great opportunities --GRIT strives to:
- Build confidence
Our programs provide not only education but mentorship in the areas of public speaking, online safety and stewardship skills and business etiquette.
GRIT is also an attitude. We want to help young women develop the self-assurance and tenacity they need to succeed in their careers—and their lives.
Hear about the founding of the GRIT program and what the girls from Millbrook Middle School took away from the experience:
HOW IT WORKS
Each local GRIT team/program is organized under the leadership of volunteers from both ePlus and Cisco, in communities surrounding our respective office locations. Our volunteers work with local middle school officials to identify a select group of girls to participate in our 16-week program.
During this program, the girls will experience:
- Presentations by technology leaders and innovators both in their community and more broadly
- Field trips to local ePlus and Cisco offices for a ‘behind the scenes’ experience
- Demos and hands-on activities for a closer look at IT and cyber security in action
- Mentorship in the areas of public speaking, online safety and stewardship skills and business etiquette
GRIT was founded in 2017 by ePlus Technology in partnership with Cisco in response to the increasing shortage of cyber security professionals worldwide, particularly women. We started GRIT to help girls understand what careers and positions are available to them, to highlight roles to which they can aspire and to encourage them to consider careers in technology.While great strides have been made in the effort to bridge the gender gap between girls and boys in middle and high school math/science classes, girls pursuing higher education and careers in these fields continues to drop. Girls are more than capable of excelling in these areas, but are choosing not to pursue them. We want to empower them to break those barriers and pave their own roads to success. We want to show them why it matters, why THEY matter, and how they can help others and contribute to the success of an organization, an industry, or a cause.
The GRIT team creates a sense of community within the program and will provide ongoing mentoring and assistance for the girls throughout their high school and college careers.
If you'd like to get involved by creating or sponsoring a GRIT program in your community, or if you'd like more information, please contact us at GRIT@eplus.com.
There is widely documented research showing both a skills gap in cyber security and a shortage of women in science and technology fields. Find out how Girls Re-Imagining Tomorrow (GRIT), a joint program between ePlus and Cisco, is helping to address both issues.Continue Reading >