DETROIT – Thirdware, an IT consulting firm specializing in enterprise applications, has committed to fund a four-year Michigan Council of Woman in Technology Foundation scholarship valued at $25,000 each year. The donation aligns with the company’s 25-year anniversary.
“This is an incredibly generous gift that will make a positive impact on a Michigan woman’s life,” said MCWT Executive Director Chris Rydzewski. “Thirdware contributing $100,000 to our cause of inspiring and growing women in IT will ensure that we continue to support a strong, diverse pipeline of technology talent here in our state.”
Thirdware Chief Transformation Officer Kristin Slanina will mentor the scholarship recipient throughout the student’s four years. The recipient will also have the opportunity for an internship at Thirdware during her time at school. The company is an MCWT supporter since 2017; with this scholarship contribution it will be upgraded to a Diamond Level MCWT partner.T
“Not everyone with a passion for STEM can afford to pursue their dreams,” said Slanina. “This scholarship is intended to remove that financial burden and provide real-world experiences that enrich the college education experience. Thirdware is committed to advancing STEM education opportunities and MCWT’s scholarship is a perfect fit.”
MCWT’s recent study, “Explore, Focus and Grow: A Technology Career Journey in Michigan,” revealed insights on what drives and challenges girls and women in technology. University students in particular expressed concerns about the lack of representation in the field (26%) and their own lack of confidence (23%) – both areas that can be addressed through role models, such as Thirdware’s mentoring commitment. The students stated they are most excited about the prospect of applying their love for problem solving and improving the lives of others and society at large.
Over the past 14 years, MCWT has awarded over $1.2 million in scholarships to fuel the educational pursuits of 192 of the state’s future technology talent. Retention of women in technology majors in college is below 10% in general; among MCWT scholarship winners, that rate is over 90%.
The Michigan Council of Women in Technology Foundation’s vision is to make Michigan the No. 1 state for women in technology. The organization supports Michigan’s female IT workforce, students, corporate partners, schools and the overall community with programming, scholarships, networking, learning, mentoring, and technology experiences. Find more information at mcwt.org and connect via LinkedIn, and Facebook.