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Chicago Panel to Discuss Diversity Divide in Information Technology

Blue 1647, Cisco, IBM and Microsoft lead dialogue with Chicago Public Schools.


February 9, 2015, Downers Grove, Ill. — During a panel hosted by CompTIA, the Creating IT Futures Foundation, and Lumity, Chicago technology leaders will discuss how to create local pipeline of diverse tech talent.  The panel discussion, “The State of IT: The Diversity Divide”, takes place February 18, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the Chicago Public School office, 42 W. Madison Street in downtown Chicago.


Addressing under-represented demographic groups in the tech workforce, panelists will examine the existing barriers of entry, the need for private and public partnerships, and how to attract and retain diverse talent.


Attendees also will learn how several companies are creating summer internships for students at Chicago’s Early College STEM Schools. Chicago has five STEM schools that allow students to graduate in six years with both a high school diploma and an associate’s degree. Skills-based learning and business partnerships help the 3,000 students relate their education to current business needs.


Panelists include:


Stephanie Anderson, corporate citizen and corporate affairs manager, IBM
Eric Berngen, chair, Technology Department, Sarah E. Goode STEM Academy
Emile Cambry, founder and CEO, Blue 1647
Jerry Rocco, City of Chicago and Cook County account manager, Cisco
Kelly Sundberg, academic account manager, Microsoft


“Now more than ever, tech companies must step up and tackle the need for equal representation in IT,” said Charles Eaton, CEO of Creating IT Futures.  “One of the first stages is to expose a diverse set of teenagers to what an IT career can be like and how to achieve one.  That stage requires business to partner with education.  Through our work with the Chicago’s Early College STEM Schools we’re linking students with tech business leaders as mentors and helping these students find summer internships with local Chicago businesses.  We need more businesses to pledge to mentor and provide internships for students.


The panel is free, but registration is required.  Click here to register.


About the Creating IT Futures Foundation
The Creating IT Futures Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charity with the mission of helping populations under-represented in the information technology industry and individuals who are lacking in opportunity to prepare for, secure, and be successful in IT careers. Learn more at


About CompTIA
CompTIA is the voice of the world’s IT industry. Its members are the companies at the forefront of innovation; and the professionals responsible for maximizing the benefits organizations receive from their investments in technology. CompTIA is dedicated to advancing industry growth through educational programs, market research, networking events, professional certifications and public policy advocacy. To learn more visit CompTIA online, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.