Amazon UK has launched the Amazon Women in Innovation Bursary that will help female students from disadvantaged backgrounds pursue a career in technology.
Amazon will enable bursaries across a range of higher academic institutions such as King’s College London, Churchill College (part of the University of Cambridge) and Edinburgh University.
The new programme will provide £3,500-£7,500 per year to female students attending one of the previously mentioned universities. The nature of the degree that they opt to study will have to be tech orientated and they will be able to study anything from robotics to electronic engineering.
Doug Gurr, UK Country Manager at Amazon said: “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 the bursary will make a big difference to many young women who one day will become future leaders in innovation.”
The bursaries will be offered at the beginning of the academic year to individuals from a household with an annual income that is under £42,620. Things like living costs and career mentoring after graduation will also be provided for female students who are selected for the scheme.
Only universities in UK cities where Amazon has its development centers will be able to be a part of the scheme, some of these universities like Cambridge and Edinburgh are already exploring bilingual smart technology and cloud-based voice services for Amazon.
Professor Johanna Moore, Chair of Artificial Intelligence and Head of School of Informatics at Edinburgh University said: “We’ve been working with the team at Amazon for two years to bring the bursary to our students, and we’re thrilled that the fund is being increased and extended beyond 2017.
Students in the bursary 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.”
The initiative will contribute towards filling the digital skills gap in the UK by encouraging further learning in the tech sector which is seeing more and more support from established technology companies looking to expand their own technologies in the marketplace.
PCR’s third annual Women of the Year awards takes place on October 14th to celebrate women in the UK technology market.