The Information Technology Senior Management Forum (ITSMF) has announced a new mentoring program that pairs female students in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields with leaders in the technology industry.

ITSMF’s EMERGE Mentorship Program is dedicated to the organization’s goal of increasing the representation of black professionals at senior levels in technology. At ITSMF’s inception in 1996, only 3% of senior positions in the technology industry were held by blacks.

“Our community of leaders has committed to partnering with and caring for these promising students to ensure that each one of them is equipped to add value and, ultimately, lead in the STEM space,” said Elizabeth Agosto, director, and global chief operating officer, Information Security Division at BNY Mellon.

Twenty-five female students from Clark Atlanta, Hampton, Howard, North Carolina A&T, North Carolina Central, and South Carolina State universities are currently in the program.

“This mentoring experience should supplement the students’ book knowledge from the university with real-world knowledge gained in Corporate America,” said Dr. Donna M. Grant, an associate professor in the School of Business at North Carolina Central University. Grant also serves as chair of the Computer Information Systems Department and program coordinator of  the Computer Science and Business Program.

The EMERGE Academy leadership development experience is a one-year program specifically designed for women of color in technology. The program consists of one to one mentoring with industry leaders, virtual learning sessions, and peer engagement.

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