By Liz Matthews - Senior Vice President, Global Brand and Experiential
At the end of a long day, I love to unwind by catching up on the latest documentary on Netflix, or taking the edge off with a comedic sitcom. Pop culture has always been extraordinary at making us smile, while also influencing ideas and culture. One of our favourites at Dell Technologies is The Big Bang Theory, which came to a close last week.
For the last 12 years, Dell Technologies has integrated products into not only the show, but the lives of the characters we have grown to love. Our Dell XPS M17 gaming laptop made its debut on episode 1 of season 1, which later evolved into the Alienware M17. The Alienware 17 R3 played a role in many of the episodes last season. We have watched as the show and its founder changed the perception of the tech industry and removed barriers to entry for students interested in pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM).
Four years ago, Chuck Lorre and the primary cast created The Big Bang Theory Scholarship Fund at UCLA. This scholarship was established to support undergraduate students with promising academic merit in need of financial aid, who are pursuing higher education in the fields of STEM. 52 per cent of UCLA students receive need-based scholarships, grants or other aid, and almost one-third of UCLA graduates have parents who didn’t graduate from a four-year college or university. I had a chance to meet 17 of these scholars at a recent ceremony celebrating their tremendous achievement. We were so thrilled to contribute to this initiative and support the mission of The Big Bang Theory Scholarship Fund that we also sent our future change makers off with Alienware m15 laptops.
Advancing underrepresented groups in technology and cultivating inclusion is a top priority for Dell Technologies. It’s critical to the success of our business. By 2024, there will be 1.1 million technology jobs, so it is imperative that we ensure our next generation is equipped with the skills to thrive in a digital world, and candidly, we need as much talent as possible to fill those jobs to meet the needs of the rapidly transforming world around us.
New and different collaborations are critical to breaking through and ensuring technology is a field accessible to ALL and representative of ALL. In addition to our work with The Big Bang Theory Scholarship Fund, we work with a number of organisations to increase curriculum at the K-12 level. We’re also investing in partnerships at the university level with historically black colleges and universities to develop curriculum and programs to reskill and bring underrepresented groups access to training they need to pursue jobs in technology. And we continue to partner with peers on coalitions like Reboot Representation and the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion that address key obstacles for our industry overall.
As I reflect on the last 12 years and, prepare to wave goodbye to the show, I’m so proud of the progress we have made together, and how the show has changed cultural stereotypes and had broad reaching impact on the communities it serves. Because together we can do and achieve so much more, and have the lasting impact our future needs.