FIU Business Now Magazine
The Pink Tank: A New Chapter for Women in Tech at FIU

The Pink Tank: A New Chapter for Women in Tech at FIU

To increase the number of women pursuing careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields, FIU Business has launched the Pink Tank, a mentoring, networking and competition experience designed to reduce the gender gap in STEM fields, which have some of the fastest-growing, highest paying jobs of the future.

Thanks to a gift of nearly $50,000 from BankUnited, the Pink Tank initiative, part of the college's ATOM (analytics, technology and operations management) Think Tank, will directly address the challenges of gender inequality. Students selected for the project will have the opportunity to receive mentoring from BankUnited executives, participate in leadership discussion forums to receive industry insights and network for career opportunities. They also have the opportunity to participate in a hackathon-style competition to solve real-world problems.

"The launching of the ATOM Pink Tank experience is truly a momentous, exciting occasion," said Karlene Cousins, chair of the college's Department of Information Systems and Business Analytics, which is organizing the program. "It is our hope that this will bring access to more women, address gender disparity issues in the field and enable our participants to go on to pursue fulfilling careers."

The Pink Tank is part of the effort to reverse the deficit of young women pursuing STEM careers and the deficit of women employed by, or owning, STEM companies. Women make up only 28% of the workforce in STEM-related roles, and men vastly outnumber women majoring in most STEM fields in college. The gender gaps are particularly large in such fields as data analytics and cybersecurity.

The Pink Tank initiative strives to open a conversation and address these challenges through direct engagement between students and the community. The 16 students selected for the inaugural cohort come from a wide range of academic disciplines, including data analytics, cybersecurity, biomedicine and engineering.

"We have an amazing group of women in our first cohort, and I know they will make the best of this opportunity," Cousins said.