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Tech Connect Program Targets Non-Traditional Technology Talent
Graduate technology program aims to boost talent pipeline and tackle profession’s long-standing gender imbalance.
In an age where technology is advancing at the speed of light, the need for tech-savvy graduates is growing just as fast. Companies everywhere are striving to create innovative products and applications—but, to make that happen, they need to access top talent.
“Technology has always been a disruptor, and we’re seeing that happen at the fastest pace ever,” says Lori Beer, Global Chief Information Officer for JPMorgan Chase. “We need to not only keep up with that pace, but be ahead of it.”
The key, Beer says, is finding the best technologists for the job. “We’re leveraging new channels to bring in diverse talent, with programs like Tech Connect that are dedicated to attracting the next generation of software engineers,” she explains.
A multi-week program at JPMorgan Chase, Tech Connect is designed to kickstart recent college graduates’ careers in technology. Through it, the bank recruits students whose studies were focused on non-technology disciplines—such as math and life sciences—then provides them with basic programming training, career development, mentoring and networking opportunities.
Ali Marano, Head of Technology for Social Good, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
But drawing students from a range of majors is only part of the solution, says Ali Marano, Head of Technology for Social Good, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. "Less than 20 percent of the people studying computer science today are women, and even fewer are Black and Latino,” Murano explains. “We knew that we had to do more if we really wanted to level the playing field of women, Blacks, and Hispanics."
Kenyetta Jeter, a Software Engineer in the firm’s Commercial Banking division, said the program has provided a unique experience by helping participants to build a supportive community. “It provided us with a valuable network of dedicated mentors who welcomed us into the firm,” she says. “Together, we have been able to collectively acknowledge the gender gap in technology, and have an open dialogue about diversity of thought.”
Upon completion of Tech Connect, participants transition into JPMorgan Chase’s Software Engineer Program as newly-fledged software engineers. And, Murano notes, their diverse perspectives and background are key to the future of the firm. "A diverse technology workforce drives our innovation," she says.