By Lori Webster, manager of Global Communications for Xerox Information Management

(From the Editor: In the photo above, Xerox chief information officer Stephen Little stands with the newest members of his organization. Photo courtesy of UST Global.)

Twenty-one women are now contractors in the Xerox Information Management organization.

What’s most important about this news item is that the women came from diverse educational backgrounds, and had the desire and aptitude to be successful at information technology. Enter Step IT Up America, a Rochester (N.Y.) program, which is part of a nationwide initiative to expand the pool of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) employees in the U.S.

Graduates of Step IT Up America - Rochester

Graduates of Step IT Up America – Rochester started their new IT careers at Xerox on August 31. Photo courtesy of UST Global.

Step IT Up was created by UST Global, a Southern California-based digital technology services company. UST Global works with local colleges and civic organizations to identify women who have the desire and aptitude to be successful in Step IT Up.

In Rochester, UST Global sought participation from Xerox to reverse the skills gaps for women in IT careers. Graduates of the Step IT Up Program are guaranteed jobs from UST Global, and are contracted to work with Xerox locally. They will have opportunities for rapid advancement, and will be eligible for regular full-time employment at Xerox after 11 months.

“This partnership provides Xerox the opportunity to impact the lives of women seeking careers in the information technology industry,” Xerox CIO Steve Little explained. “The core goals of Step IT Up America work in tandem with Xerox’s strong culture of diversity and inclusion. Our business will be all the better with these driven women.”

The program was co-led by two Xerox executives, Pat Brewer (human resources) and Anne Bell (vice president, Enterprise Program Management Office).  They have a personal passion for acquiring and retaining new IT talent, and see this program as a fresh beginning for these newly-minted IT professionals.

“Step IT Up America is a great program that has given me the tools I need to launch a career in IT,” said Alexandria Kelley, graduate of Step IT Up America. “I’m excited to start working at Xerox, and I highly encourage other women to also to push the boundaries of what is possible in their careers and lives.”

On the August 26 graduation ceremony, one by one, the eager IT professionals shook hands with Steve Little; Dan Webber, vice president of Technology for UST Global; and Nika Milbrun, assistant director of African American Affairs for the Office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Alexandria and her fellow graduates began work at Xerox on August 31.

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