What is IGNITE?
IGNITE™ inspires girls to become the future technology leaders and innovators of our world.
Started in 1999, IGNITE (Inspiring Girls Now In Technology Evolution) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that introduces school girls from grades 6-12 to technology careers via panel discussions, job shadowing, mentoring and field trips throughout the school year to visit the work places of professional women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) careers.
The United States is experiencing a shortage of students interested in STEM careers (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.) By 2020, it is projected that in the US we will face a 300,000+ deficit in talent to support STEM positions. Women in particular are extremely underrepresented in these career paths: In 1985, 37% of computer science degrees were awarded to women; in 2012 only 18% were. In 1991 women held 37% of all computing jobs; today they hold only 26%. By increasing the number of women choosing STEM careers, we invest in our nation’s future of gender equity, and position the United States to remain competitive in these vital industries.
IGNITE has educated and empowered over 30,000 young women in middle school and high school grades to pursue education and careers in STEM. In the Seattle School District alone, female participation in technology classes soared from 10% to 50% since the start of the IGNITE program. IGNITE is a program that works for any school: in addition to chapters formed across the United States, IGNITE has chapters in Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, and India.
How can you help?
Our supporters provide financial assistance to IGNITE and help us reach more girls.
Every IGNITE chapter attracts more than 200 girls in a school per year and effectively increases awareness and interest in STEM careers among girls.
Our volunteers range from sharing their career journeys in technology to becoming regular mentors to inspire girls to explore opportunities in STEM.
IGNITE holds scheduled events including campus tours at local colleges, field trips to local tech companies such as Microsoft and Starbucks, and programming and business skill workshops for girls. Click to learn more.