Durham University has received $3.5m in funding from Durham alumnus and former Netflix CPO Dr Neil Hunt to boost diversity in technology.
The former chief product officer (CPO) has donated the money to establish The Hunt Programme in computer science, which will help to expand the university’s AMI Women in Technology programme, which aims to tackle the underrepresentation of women in tech leadership roles.
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The Hunt Programme will also support new scholarships for students from low-income and underrepresented backgrounds, allowing wider access to Durham University.
Hunt said: “Today’s high-tech industry is fiercly competitive for talent, and we cannot afford to shut out 50% or more of the potential from even getting to the starting gate. Women make up just 15% of computer science graduates – a figure that continues to fall – and this cries out for correction.”
Today’s high-tech industry is fiercly competitive for talent, and we cannot afford to shut out 50% or more of the potential from even getting to the starting gate.
– Dr Neil Hunt
CEO of Stemettes and Durham University Computer Science Advisory Board member Anne-Marie Imafidon, said: “The issue of diversity in tech is systemic, and universities can play a huge part in modelling inclusive cultures and practices for schools and industry to follow. Underrepresentation is about attraction and pipeline, but also retention. I’m pleased to see Durham taking a proactive approach and prioritising inclusivity”.
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Hunt’s donation will also have an impact on the university’s wider Durham Inspired campaign, which seeks to support the next generation of inspiration and leadership through Durham.