break through tech chicago

We recognize that there is a gender gap in tech.

We are committed to opening doors for women to technology careers.

We are prepared to contribute by broadening the path into the field.

It’s time to increase women’s presence in tech.

You might assume that women’s presence in computer science since the 1980s has increased, but the opposite is true. That concerns us. It should concern you, too. Research shows that in corporations, nonprofits, and government agencies alike, the teams that perform best in the workplace are diverse. Teams made up of people who have different perspectives on the world. Different ways of thinking. Different conceptions of identity. And who represent a wide range of backgrounds: in terms of race, ethnicity, class, culture, language, and gender.

Break Through Tech Chicago works at the intersection of academia and industry to increase gender diversity in the tech world. Our programs are open to women (cis and trans) and nonbinary individuals, and we are especially committed to serving Black, Latina, and Indigenous women.

Through curriculum innovation, career access, and community-building, our goal is to achieve gender equality in tech.

1 million

or more women complete bachelor’s degrees in the United States each year.

58%

of all U.S. undergraduate degrees are awarded to women, outpacing men.

But only 1%

of U.S. college women are graduating with a degree in computer science.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that on our current trajectory by 2026 this nation will have 3.5 million computing jobs, but U.S. colleges and universities will produce only 17 percent of the workforce needed for these roles. It’s critical to diversify the tech ecosystem now to meet this demand and drive innovation.

Break Through Tech Chicago is addressing this challenge. We are part of a national network begun at Cornell Tech that is funded by Pivotal Ventures, Cognizant U.S. Foundation, and Verizon. Our multi-year initiative seeks to raise the percentage of women who graduate with majors or minors in computer science and data science at the University of Illinois Chicago.