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Expanding on JPMorgan Chase’s longstanding partnership with Girls Who Code to help close the gender gap in technology, we are excited to share how we’re helping to tackle the many challenges facing underrepresented girls, women, and nonbinary individuals in technology – particularly those of color.

We proudly hosted Work Prep with Girls Who Code, providing female college students with a two-week experiential learning opportunity and guidance for navigating the systemic issues facing women in technology. This year, 81 percent of Work Prep participants were from historically underrepresented groups. 

Work Prep connected students directly to career pathways in technology, in addition to teaching important career skills and building participants’ confidence. The programming provided participants with a support system and exposure to role models to make them feel empowered to jumpstart their career.

To motivate young women and allow them to hear from diverse technologists who have overcome challenges of their own, Work Prep gave the college students a platform to meet directly with female technology leaders here at JPMorgan Chase. Boosting awareness for the support systems we have available for women in technology, this exposure was especially valuable for early-career women who had the opportunity to ask questions of senior leaders, hear directly about their experiences, and learn by example.

Though Priscilla, a student participant, was always able to envision herself in a high-tech career, Work Prep gave her the tools to help her find her way to that goal. “Having completed Work Prep, I am finally able to completely color in the picture that I had in my mind. I now know what specific technology positions interest me the most, and have designed a clear path for myself to follow as I build my career in the industry.”

In addition to providing mentorship opportunities, Work Prep inspired participants to approach problem solving with creativity and develop skills that would be useful as they embark on their technical career paths. The program included unique sessions about Design Thinking and Empathy in Coding and concluded with a multiday Build-A-Thon where the women built designs for apps to address social good challenges.

Volunteer technologists from JPMorgan Chase also valued the opportunity to participate as mentors in the program, as Work Prep has now become one of the firm’s many ways for technologists to incorporate purpose-driven elements into their day to day responsibilities.

Julia Backon, Head of Youth Programs, Tech for Social Good & Emerging Talent, shares, “At JPMorgan Chase, we are focused on bringing more representation into technology. In order to do so, we focus on welcoming diverse emerging talent and collaborate with organizations like Girls Who Code. Not enough women are exploring STEM, computer science, and technology career pathways – but through programs like Work Prep, we are helping to bridge that gap and empower women right as they are starting to think about future internships and careers.”

With the support and representation of our female technologists, we are grateful for our partnership with Girls Who Code as we encourage technologists of the future to realize that their career goals, no matter how large, are in reach.

Learn more about opportunities to code your own career.