A year after its launch, a program designed to connect more women with training for high-tech careers is continuing to grow. IvyWorks, which now includes 40 participants, provides paid internship opportunities, as well as financial support for tuition, books, fees and real-life needs like childcare and transportation costs. Ivy Tech Community College and the Indy Women in Tech Foundation launched the program last August and in May, it received a $200,000 grant from the Salesforce Foundation.
Chancellor Kathleen Lee, who was joined on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick by IvyWorks Director Ariel Crawley, says the growing needs of the technology industry create a "perfect fit" for IvyWorks. "The nice thing about IT is you can start with very basic credentials and they stack very well into associate degrees and eventually even into bachelor’s degrees, but the entry-level positions are pretty basic — a few credentials and in you go," Lee said. National figures suggest women make up half or more of college graduates, but only about 30 percent of the tech workforce is women.
Crawley says the program also strives to help women understand and be able to execute a balance between work and life as they study and eventually enter the field. The program, she says, involves the "very critical" internship component. "In tech, a lot of times, we find that internships often get them through the door and also get them back through the door after they graduate," Crawley said.
You can connect to more about the IvyWorks program by clicking here.