Global creative director, Alicia Keys, inaugurates BlackBerry Scholars Programme to engage young women in science, technology, engineering and maths
BlackBerry's global creative director, Alicia Keys, has launched the new BlackBerry Scholars Programme, the first step in the mobile device manufacturers' global women's initiative designed to inspire more women to enter and develop careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).
The BlackBerry Scholars Programme 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 programme 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 enrol and graduate college than men, only 25% of US 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,' Keys added.
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 Alicia Keys, will choose the applicants from the pool of nominations submitted before the deadline of 26 June.