Thanks to Melinda French Gates’ push for gender equity, Miami will lure more than ‘tech bros’ | Editorial

·2 min read
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Melinda French Gates is a favorite millionaire philanthropist. That’s because she targets her generous donations where they will actually make a difference, quickly and impactfully, in people’s lives.

She has made it a mission to help women and other often marginalized people enter and flourish in the tech industry she knows so well as a Silicon Valley pioneer.

Gate’s Gender Equality in Tech (GET Cities) is spending millions to level the playing field for women in an industry well-known to be male-dominated and predominantly white.

Now that Miami fancies itself to be Silicon Valley 2.0, Gates is stepping in with GET Cities to accelerates the representation and leadership of women and trans, and nonbinary people in tech through the development of inclusive tech hubs.

On Thursday, Gate’s Pivotal Ventures announced that Florida International University will become one of its hubs in its initiative. No amount was given, but the foundation has promised a broader $50 million investment in gender equality in tech across the board.

“We are excited to see GET Cities expand to Miami, a city working to become one of the most diverse and inclusive tech hubs in the U.S.,” Renee Wittemyer, Pivotal Ventures director of program strategy and investment, said in a statement.

Here’s what will happen locally with Gates’ donation: GET Cities will partner with FIU to identify female freshmen and sophomores in search of a major and direct them toward technology studies. The women will be given a paid, short-term internship to cement their interest in the field.

The goal is to increase the number of women in Miami graduating with tech-related degrees during the lifetime of the program, which is intended to last at least five years. An excellent strategy.

It’s just what Miami needs as it creates its blueprint as a growing tech hub. It will cast a far wider net in the search for talented innovators.

So, thank you, Melinda French Gates.

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