There’s “global impact” for companies that address and put some revenues toward issues outlined by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, “climate action” for businesses that either run on reduced greenhouse gas emissions or work on tech in this area, and “gender equality” for places with employment practices reflecting that, including for transgender people.
“Tech nonprofit founders are far more diverse than founders of for-profit tech companies,” note co-authors Shatzen and Shannon Farley in the report. The simple reason: “Founders solve problems they experience” and white men typically don’t experience as much hardship. That’s something Fast Forward as seen firsthand with its own accelerator program, the report notes, in which 84% participants have had some sort of personal connection to their cause area.
While the group hasn’t shared the price tag for this sort of effort, defense and cybersecurity company Raytheon has agreed to pick up the tab. As the group points out in a related promotional video, 1.8 million girls currently participate in the Girl Scouts. The cybersecurity world just so happens to be facing a projected skills gap of 1.8 million qualified workers within the next five years. And there’s obvious interest among the Girl Scouts’ younger members: About 74% of the group’s younger members report being interested in the STEM field, although that enthusiasm often falls away as they get older.
“Adolescent girls can be the hardest to reach demographic in the world,” says Laura Scanlon, the director of Girl Effect’s TEGA initiative. “This is borne out of the insight that an adolescent girl is far more likely to speak and open up to a girl just like her, who comes from her community and understands what it’s like to grow up facing the challenges that she’s facing.”