The Amazon Women in Innovation Bursary aims to help young women from less advantaged backgrounds fulfil their ambitions of a career in innovation and technology. The bursary is awarded to six students annually in universities in cities where we have a tech Development Centre, including the University of Edinburgh, King’s College London and Churchill College at the University of Cambridge. All students are on courses that focus on high-tech innovation, including Electronic Engineering, Robotics & Intelligent Systems, and Computer Science.
In addition to providing financial support the students will be mentored by a female Amazon employee who works in the software space, on careers advice, CV building, and interview training. The students will also have the opportunity to apply for an internship at the local Amazon development centre.
The bursary aims to help break down barriers to women entering the UK’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) workforce with the objective of improving and diversifying the gender balance in the workplace.
Doug Gurr, UK Country Manager, Amazon, commented: “We want to foster the next generation of high-tech superstars in Britain and help people from all walks of life invent for the future. We hope that over time this new scheme will make a big difference to many young women who one day will become future leaders in innovation.”
Success in Edinburgh
The scheme originated in Edinburgh and has been running there for three years. Professor Johanna Moore, Chair of Artificial Intelligence and Head of School of Informatics, Edinburgh University said:
“We’ve been working with the team at Amazon for two years to bring the bursary scheme to our students, and we’re thrilled that it is extended beyond 2017. Students in the scheme have benefitted hugely, not only from Amazon’s financial support, but also from the opportunity to get experience and mentoring from professionals at the top of their game.”
Katie Worton, aged 19 from Roslin, who is studying Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science is one of the students supported. She said:
“I’ve always dreamt of forging a career in a field that’s cutting edge and innovative and I value Amazon’s support. The scheme has given me the chance to grow thanks to real-life, hands-on experience during my placement at Amazon’s Development Centre in Edinburgh. It’s a fantastic programme, and I’d encourage any young woman who wants to explore a career in innovation to apply.”