Today, BlackBerry Global Creative Director, Alicia Keys, launched the new BlackBerry Scholars Program, the first step in the company’s global women’s initiative designed to inspire more women to enter and develop careers in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). The program was unveiled at BlackBerry Live in Orlando, Florida.
The BlackBerry Scholars Program will provide full, four-year tuition scholarships to outstanding women who are seeking degrees at accredited colleges and universities in the areas of STEM – with a particular interest or aptitude in the area of mobile computing.
This scholarship program is the first step in BlackBerry’s long-term commitment and multi-tiered strategy to engage young women at every step of their education from high school to college, and as they rise through the workforce.
While significantly more women enroll and graduate college than men, only 25% of U.S. IT jobs are held by women, and 56% of these women eventually leave the field of technology for other careers. As more than 55% of BlackBerry customers are women, BlackBerry aims to champion this generation of female leaders as they strive to achieve their ambitions in this highly-competitive industry.
“Women are underrepresented in fields of science and technology, and we feel strongly that it’s time to drive a change,” said Keys. “It’s important to connect the dots for young women in high school and college, and show them that careers in science and technology are within their reach. And when women do land these jobs, it’s vital they receive the mentoring and support they need to advance in their careers. I’m proud BlackBerry is demonstrating leadership in women’s education, both in school and in the workplace, and giving back to its most loyal users in such a profound way.”
In addition to providing full, four-year course tuition, BlackBerry will also offer mentorship and professional opportunities for each of the scholars. The scholars will be selected based on their academic merit and passion for entering the mobile computing industry. A panel of inspirational and accomplished women, led by Keys, will choose the applicants from the pool of nominations submitted before the deadline of 5pm EDT on June 26, 2013.