Women’s History Month is a significant time to acknowledge the accomplishments and contributions women have made to society. Beyond the month-long celebration, Oracle has made multiyear commitments to ensure that future generations of women have opportunities to learn and make an impact on society.
Through the Oracle Giving program, more than 7,000 nonprofits in 62 countries have received support through grants, sponsorships, and employee giving. This includes organizations dedicated to empowering young women to explore their strengths in technology.
Last year, Pew Research Center reported that the STEM workforce is still facing uneven progress in increasing gender diversity, especially in fields such as computing and engineering. Their analysis of a 2019 survey found that women accounted for only 40%of physical science jobs, 25% of computer jobs, and 15% of engineering jobs in the United States.
Here are some examples of the deserving programs Oracle Giving supports that provide opportunities for girls to thrive in technology:
Since 2015, Oracle has supported Technovation, a global tech education nonprofit that encourages girls to become creators and leaders. Through giving and volunteering, Oracle has helped the organization reach nearly 3,000 more girls and families in under-resourced communities globally.
Girls ages 8 to 18 in Technovation’s global competition work with volunteer mentors to build an application meant to solve a real-world problem and pitch their idea to a panel of expert judges. In addition to learning technical skills in coding and artificial intelligence during the development process, participants build their critical-thinking and entrepreneurial abilities. Nearly 6,000 girls from more than 60 countries created apps during the 2021 competition.
Oracle’s investment in the organization has had a clear impact. Of Technovation’s participants, 76% go on to pursue STEM degrees and 60% work in STEM-related careers, which is more than twice the percentage of US women working in STEM.
By expanding opportunities for hands-on exposure to technology, Oracle Giving is helping prepare the next generation of female technologists for what lies ahead in the industry.
A prime example is Oracle Giving’s support of the Ann Richards School For Young Women Leaders, an all-girls public school that offers students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds the academic preparation and skills to pursue a college education. The Austin, Texas-based school was named after Ann Willis Richards, the 45th governor of Texas and the first woman elected county commissioner in Travis County and treasurer of the State of Texas. Oracle’s funding supports the school’s STEM experiential learning program, serving grades 6 to12.
Additionally, 55 volunteers from the Oracle Education Foundation have clocked in a total of 1,300 class hours serving 215 students at the school. The Foundation’s projects with the school include a program that paired Oracle employees with students for a design challenge that involved creating wearable tech prototypes and giving a final presentation of their products to Oracle employees.
“Oracle’s work with the Ann Richards School sets an example to many large corporations to join the movement for gender equality,” says Maria Cruz, corporate citizenship associate at Oracle and an alum of the Ann Richards School. “Many of these girls are beginning to think about careers. By educating them early on, we can help them unravel the ‘complexity’ of the tech industry, as well as help them understand and develop core skills at a younger age.”
Oracle Giving’s areas of focus include building equity in education and closing the gender gap in technology. For both causes, there are still glass ceilings left to be shattered in different technology fields, especially coding.
Course Report, a coding bootcamp directory and resource for technology education, reported that only 4% of people in software development jobs in the US are African American and only 5% are Latinx. Among coding bootcamp graduates, 38% are women.
To encourage Latinx women to develop tech fluency, Oracle has offered mentorship and scholarships to Latinitas, an Austin-based nonprofit that offers after-school clubs, camps, events, and content for girls to explore their interests in technology and media. Their work with Latinitas includes teaching girls about HTML and web design.
For years, Oracle Giving has also funded Black Girls Code, an Oakland, California-based nonprofit with a mission to introduce girls of color to the field of technology and create pathways for them enter the tech marketplace. Participants learn skills in computer programming and gain exposure to areas, such as robotics, artificial intelligence, and web design. With 14 chapters in the US and one in South Africa, Black Girls Code has a goal is to train one million girls by 2040 to become leaders, creators, and innovators in STEM fields.
“The playing field isn’t going to level itself,” says Colleen Cassity, vice president of Oracle Corporate Citizenship. “By supporting organizations like Technovation, Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders, Black Girls Code, and Latinitas, Oracle is working to diversify representation in technology and equip young women with the skills to be future-ready for the challenges and opportunities of tomorrow.”
Alex Chan is a writer for Oracle. She was previously a reporter for The Orange County Register and subsidiaries of the Los Angeles Times.