Cognizant grants £1 million to charities focused on STEM inclusion

04 July 2022 Consultancy.uk 3 min. read
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Cognizant has donated more than £1 million in grants to five charities working to connect individuals from historically excluded and underserved backgrounds to gain access to careers in science. The organisations receiving grants are: Code First Girls, The Forces Employment Charity, The Prince’s Trust, Raspberry Pi Foundation and Social Mobility Foundation.

Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) skills have been prioritised by the government in the coming years, as Britain looks to position itself at the head of the global knowledge economy. However, the sector remains dominated by white men from affluent backgrounds, and this lack of diversity may well be wasting huge amounts of talent.

As STEM education is best implemented early in childhood, organisations that partner at a local level to help young learners interact with STEM may be the key to changing this. As such, Cognizant has selected a cohort of non-profits to support with over £1 million in grants.

Cognizant Foundation commits £1.1 Million to expand UK STEM access

The organisations receiving grants are: Code First Girls, The Forces Employment Charity, The Prince’s Trust, Raspberry Pi Foundation and Social Mobility Foundation.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation is a UK-based charity with the mission to enable young people to realise their full potential through the power of computing and digital technologies. Code First Girls is the largest provider of free coding courses for women in the UK, having delivered over £40 million worth of free technology education.

The Forces Employment Charity (also known as TechVets) exists to provide life-long support, jobs and training opportunities to service leavers and veterans. The Princes Trust helps 11 to 30 year-olds to find the tools and confidence to try free courses and start careers. And the Social Mobility Foundation is a charity which aims to make a practical improvement in social mobility for young people.

Raspberry Pi Foundation CEO Philip Colligan said, "Thanks to the Cognizant’s generous support, we will grow our network of Code Club and CoderDojo computing clubs that help young people from all backgrounds to learn essential technology skills. We will also expand our ground-breaking research into how to make computing accessible to all, through a study led by the Raspberry Pi Computing Education Research Centre that will explore how primary school teachers can apply culturally responsive teaching practices to engage learners from all backgrounds."

All the groups work on a localised basis to support both students and professionals, scaling new pathways to economic freedom and social mobility for underrepresented groups. The new grants from Cognizant Foundation meanwhile build on its initial UK investments made last year, all with the goal of providing life-changing opportunities for students and jobseekers.

“To be successful in an evolving global economy, individuals must have an equitable opportunity to develop digital and STEM skills, as well as necessary support to enter – and stay – in industries like tech,” said Rob Walker, President of Global Growth Markets at Cognizant.

“​​Our foundation’s investment in these five organisations reflects Cognizant's steadfast commitment to advancing economic mobility and expanding access to high-quality tech training and STEM education in communities across the globe.”

The charitable wing of global professional services firm Cognizant, the Cognizant Foundation works to inspire, educate and prepare people of all ages to succeed in the workforce of today and tomorrow. Since its founding in 2018, the foundation has committed approximately $65 million globally to support organisations working to ensure all communities are prepared for the jobs driving the future.

To date, Cognizant and its foundations estimate they have already impacted more than 4 million people. The group works with over 300 organisations, while more than 166,000 employees have volunteered their time and expertise over the last five years.