By Aiza Natalie for Base 11
From Hollywood and the academe to law and finance, women and minorities have struggled with underrepresentation
across various industries. Unsurprisingly, the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields
aren’t exempt. A previous post here on the Base 11 blog highlighted the huge gap between available STEM jobs and
qualified applicants, which is largely due to the limited amount of applicants from other demographics.
Fortunately, there are now more internships and fellowship providers that welcome professionals from all walks of life
— especially women and people from minority groups. These companies hope to provide opportunities that can
elevate the disenfranchised and shatter the glass ceilings of these once inaccessible industries. Here are some
organizations to keep an eye out for.
Microsoft prides itself on being one of the companies at the forefront of workplace diversity. Inc42 reports that the
company is driven by the philosophy that “diverse talent builds a better Microsoft.” In line with this, they offer multiple
programs that target underrepresented individuals in STEM fields. One of these is their LEAP Engineering
Acceleration Program, a 16-week apprenticeship that immerses participants in the world of development and project
management. Currently, LEAP holds an impressive 54% intern-to-employee conversion rate. DigiGirlz, on the other hand, is their program for high school girls who want to learn more about careers in technology, connect with Microsoft
employees, and participate in hands-on technology workshops.
In partnership with UNCF, the nation’s top private scholarship guarantor for underrepresented populations, Oracle provides internships as an opportunity to develop their future talent. The company offers eight-week Corporate Scholar internships that give participants an invaluable experience of what it’s like to work for the second largest software maker in the world. One of their top programs is the Product Development Internship, geared at students from Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Software Development, and other related disciplines. On their software development page, Maryville University notes that the demand for developers and programmers in the field is increasing day by day. In fact, job growth in the industry is projected at an impressive 17%, and this will continue to rise up until 2024. Coupled with a competitive salary, this makes an internship with Oracle highly coveted among students who wish to forge a successful career in the field.
For years, NASA has credited diversity and inclusion as its key drivers for innovation and creativity. As such, the
space agency has been attracting a wide range of talented underrepresented candidates for internships—mainly those who are interested in aerospace, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, physics, astronomy, geology, and the like. Joeletta Patrick, manager at NASA’s Minority University Research and Education Program (MUREP) recommends
their One Stop Shopping Initiative, which allows students to apply for 15 different opportunities across 10 NASA
centers. It’s important to note NASA’s objective of fostering a “mission-driven” collaborative environment, so
candidates who are highly motivated and thrive on teamwork are a good fit.
Since its early days, IBM Corporation has been a pioneer in valuing and appreciating its diverse workforce. The T.J.
Watson Research Lab at IBM provides opportunities for Black, Hispanic, and Native American students to get hands-
on experience working in a world-class research environment. Participants are directly involved in a wide range of research projects where they can apply scientific knowledge to solve current real-world problems. These projects cover various fields, such as science, technology, and even business.
INROADS is the largest non-profit provider of leadership development solutions and internships in the US. Boasting a
network that includes leading STEM companies such as Boeing, Kaiser Permanente, Lucent technologies, and
General Electric, INROADS connects them with talented students from ethnically and culturally diverse backgrounds.
Participants get to work alongside industry leaders while training for corporate leadership and community
For information about opportunities offered through Base 11, click here.