LONDON & NEW YORK & MUNICH--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO), a New York-based organization providing talented and motivated young people from underserved and underrepresented communities with access to educational and career opportunities, today announces the launch of SEO Tech Developer, a new program to address the technology diversity gap for Black, Latinx and Native American undergraduate students majoring in Computer Science and Engineering, and related STEM fields.
The program will be principally supported through SEO’s new partnership with The Hg Foundation, a charity with a defined focus on education and technology.
The SEO Tech Developer is an intensive immersion and training program focused on eliminating the exposure and preparation gaps facing underrepresented students seeking to enter the tech industry. In partnership with Codio, SEO has curated a customized curriculum that hones minority students’ existing tech skills. Centered on a team-based project approach, the program will provide sustained exposure to industry professionals, educators and recruiters to raise the percentage of minority students effectively competing for entry-level roles in the tech world.
The program is supported and seed-funded through a long-term partnership with The Hg Foundation. The Hg Foundation’s goal is to make an impact on the development of skills most required for employment within the technology industry, focusing on individuals who may otherwise experience barriers to access. The Hg Foundation aims to achieve this by providing funding and operational support to charitable organizations across the UK, US and Europe. The Hg Foundation is supported by Hg, a leading software and services investor.
Through this new initiative, the two organizations have an aligned goal to support Black, Latinx and Native American undergraduates who may otherwise experience barriers to the acquisition of skills that are often required for employment within the technology industry. Oftentimes, such students have their initial introduction to computer programming upon entering college, leaving them significantly behind their peers. Both organizations believe that this initiative will elevate the existing interest among minority Engineering and CS students while supplementing their technical education with the specific problem-solving skills they will need to meet the professional expectations of the industry at the entry-level recruitment stage.
Julian Johnson, Executive VP of SEO-USA, said: “We recognize that an existing record of academic excellence, combined with an interest in tech, is not always enough to secure quality opportunities in this sector. SEO Tech Developer is a valuable, new program that helps to provide exposure for future professionals from underserved and underrepresented communities to sharpen their fluency in hard and soft skills required to break through in today’s workforce. The Hg Foundation is an organization that has very closely aligned goals and values to ours, so it’s incredibly powerful to have their support as we push this new, positive initiative in the USA.”
Gero Wittemann, The Hg Foundation Trustee and co-lead of Hg’s US office, said: “Creating a level playing field for those wishing to position themselves effectively as candidates in the talent pools of major tech companies, lies at the core of The Hg Foundation. SEO has a strong track-record of supporting students who can be molded into interview-ready candidates within the fields of engineering and computer science, and across Wall Street and corporate America. We are proud to have linked arms with such an established and proven organization such as SEO, to better reflect America’s diversity within the workforce of an industry with an enormous relevance in today’s economy.”
The SEO Tech Developer sits within the umbrella of the SEO Career program. SEO Career has a 40-year track record of recruiting, training and providing unparalleled support for underrepresented college students around the nation to succeed in their summer internships.
The overall success of the program will be measured by a combination of progression and attainment metrics. Technical skills levels will be evaluated as students are selected and compared to their levels measured once the program is completed. Participation levels and attitudinal change will also be factored into the employment statistics for each cohort.
SEO is also supported by other program partners, including leading game publisher Take 2 Interactive, e-commerce furniture and home-goods company Wayfair, cloud based enterprise resource planning software Workday, international conglomerate Renew Group Holdings, as well as the portfolio companies of leading tech investors. This backing serves as a new model for a pipeline of diverse talent. Meanwhile, the program partners have an opportunity to serve as program mentors.
SEO was founded in 1963 with a mission to provide talented and motivated young people from underserved and underrepresented communities with access to educational and career opportunities. SEO’s four signature programs create an ecosystem of excellence. SEO Scholars – An eight-year academic program that successfully educates and mentors low-income public high school students in NYC and San Francisco to get to and through college – with a 90% college graduation rate. SEO Career – The nation’s premier pre-professional development and internship program for high-achieving Black, Hispanic and Native American college students who are underrepresented in the fields they seek. SEO Law – The nation’s only paid pre-law academic and fellowship program, creates a talent pipeline of pre-law students of color who enter elite global law firms. SEO Alternative Investments – Provides education, exposure, training and mentoring opportunities for talented individuals traditionally underrepresented in the alternative investments sector. www.seo-usa.org
About The Hg Foundation
The Hg Foundation is a grant-giving charity with a defined focus on education and technology. Our goal is to support those who may otherwise experience barriers to access, with the acquisition of skills that are often required for employment within the technology industry. We aim to achieve this by providing funding and operational support to charitable schemes and partnerships across the UK, USA and Europe where we can demonstrate measurable, long-term and scalable impact and make a difference to those that need it most. The Hg Foundation is registered Charity no. 1189216. For more information please visit the website at www.thehgfoundation.com.
Tom Eckersley (Hg)+44 (0)20 8396 0930
Alex Yankus and Harry Mayfield (Brunswick, USA)+1 917 818 5204HG@brunswickgroup.com