Bertelsmann Education Group | Mountain View, 08/30/2021

Udacity Is Empowering Women In The Tech Sector

Subject: Society
Country: International
Category: Project

Together with several partner companies, the online education provider Udacity organized a scholarship program for women to help increase the percentage of female specialists in tech-forward industries.

The problem is not new: women are chronically underrepresented in the IT and science and engineering workforces. One of the reasons is the fact that the number of women who are training or studying in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) is far lower than the number of men. The online education provider Udacity, in which Bertelsmann holds a stake via the Bertelsmann Education Group, aims to change this: together with various partner organizations, Udacity has launched a scholarship program focused on five IT study courses and exclusively targeting women.

The facts speak for themselves: according to Udacity, women represent half of all university graduates but only 35 percent of STEM degree holders and just 28 percent of the science and engineering workforce. These facts have consequences. Women are underrepresented in an industry that is one of the fastest-growing, experiencing rapid development, and offering some of the highest-paid jobs. Additionally, due to the underrepresentation of women, it is likely that we will see technological developments that will – unintentionally – discriminate against women.

A viable solution to a persistent problem

For Udacity, the situation is clear, as the company states in a blog: “We need to do better. Giving women equal opportunities to pursue and thrive in the STEM workforce is essential for building an innovative and inclusive future. Not only will it help narrow the gender pay gap, but having a diverse STEM workforce also prevents biases in the products and services that organizations create. This is a viable solution to a persistent problem in STEM career development.”

To celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8, 2021, Udacity partnered with some of its enterprise customers to nominate women in their respective organizations for one of five IT study courses: “Business Analytics”, “Programming for Data Science”, “Intro to Programming”, “Artificial Intelligence for Business Leaders” and “Data Science for Business Leaders”. Over 350 women across 36 partner organizations enrolled in one of the study courses to earn a “Nanodegree”, which is recognized across the industry. Udacity also organized Q&A sessions and regular meetings to better inform and motivate the participants and promote discussions. They will soon graduate from their Nanodegree programs and will be equipped with STEM skills that they can apply in their various positions.