What We Do

What We Do Hero Image: Students working on computers with employer helping.

We Focus On

Creating new pathways, empowering more innovators, building the future

Break Through Tech works at the intersection of industry and academia. We work within a city to identify and remove obstacles that negatively impact women’s ability to get their foot in the door of the tech talent pipeline: to higher education in tech and to tech careers.

We establish deep partnerships with universities that serve a high percentage of students of color, first-generation college-goers, and low-income students. At the same time, we work closely with industry partners from Fortune 10 companies to tech startups to align their workforce needs and their Diversity & Inclusion initiatives with the talent pool in their own backyard.

Programs & Initiatives

We open doors for college women (trans and cis) and nonbinary students to enter the tech pipeline and ensure that they feel empowered and supported once they’re there. Our programs and initiatives are centered around the 3 C’s Curriculum, Career, and Community in order to promote academic access and industry exposure.

Curriculum and Academic Pathway Innovation

We create innovative programs to make it easier for college students without prior experience to study computer science and persist through graduation.

Summer Guild Image: Three students working together on computers

Through our Guild Program, we introduce first- and second-year college students to computing and inspire them to take their first computer science course. Students who are curious about working in tech experience coding and the software development life cycle through the lens of a real-world challenge.

In addition, each partner university examines its academic policies and introductory course pathways to make it easier for students new to computing to gain entry. And we work with faculty through grants and workshops to make instruction more inclusive.

Career Access

We help students get their foot in the door to the tech workforce.

Students working together on a project.

Getting that first internship is one of the biggest challenges of breaking into tech. Our Sprinternship® Program helps students gain invaluable experience and the résumé credentials they need to land that critical first internship.

In a paid, three-week micro-internship experience, students working in teams of five Sprinterns are immersed in their host site’s business, complete a challenge project, and build their industry network and knowledge.

We also help students prepare for the interview and job-seeking process through résumé reviews, professional skill-building, interview preparations, and more. 

Students working together on a project.

Community Building

We create peer-to-peer networks and connect college women with industry professionals to support, engage, mentor, and motivate students on their path into tech careers.

We also host discussion panels, workshops, and other events featuring prominent people in tech on academic campuses and at corporate offices throughout the year.

Our Work with Industry Partners

We establish industry partnerships with companies large and small, to help them recruit diverse talent from their own backyards. We offer opportunities for employees to coach and mentor our students, to “adopt” a cohort of our students working on product challenges, to teach our students both formally and informally, and to host a group of Sprinterns in our innovative, mini-internship program.

In just three weeks during an academic recess, our unique Sprinternship Program changes lives. Watch this video to hear directly from our industry partners and our students what this program (formerly known as WiTNY Winternships) has meant to them.

“The future of innovation depends on gender equality in the technology industry. Break Through Tech has a proven track record of propelling more women toward rewarding tech careers.”

Nicola Palmer she/her
Chief Product Officer, Verizon

Explore What We Do