Nineteen Women Graduate from "Step IT Up America - Chicago," Will Start in STEM-Related Positions at Discover

UST Global's Chicago program for minority and urban women part of nationwide initiative to close the gender gap in STEM industries

Jan 25, 2016, 21:26 ET from UST Global

CHICAGO, Jan. 25, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- UST Global, a Los Angeles-based information technology solutions and services company serving Global 1000 enterprises, celebrated on Friday the graduation of 19 women from its proprietary  'Step IT Up America –Chicago' program, part of its nationwide Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) initiative to train 5,000 women from minority and urban communities and place them in STEM-related jobs.

10 recent graduates of the program started at Discover Financial Services on January 11, 2016,
where they will work in software testing and quality assurance. The remainder will start at previous Step IT Up America partners True Value and McDonalds. This is the second Step IT Up America – Chicago program; the 19 women join the 25 women who graduated from the inaugural 2014 class.

Step IT Up America aims to bridge the gender gap in STEM, as women currently constitute only one fourth of the workforce. The program has successfully launched in many U.S. cities: Atlanta, Philadelphia, Detroit, Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York are a few examples.

Step IT Up America has been commended by the likes of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who helped kick off the program in Chicago, and Vice President Joe Biden, who visited the Step IT Up program in Detroit. This program has already touched the lives of over 300 women since its launch in 2014.

All Step IT Up America - Chicago participants were trained at Chicago's flagship digital tech hub 1871 and were referred to UST Global by Skills for Chicagoland's Future (Skills), a public-private partnership that meets the hiring needs of employers by offering innovative solutions to place qualified, unemployed and underemployed candidates into available positions. 

The Chicago graduation included keynote speeches from Kim B. Homes, Director of Business Technology and Glenn Schneider, CIO from Discover, Stephen Koch, Deputy Mayor of Chicago, Marie Trzupek Lynch, founding president and CEO of Skills for Chicagoland's Future, as well as Murali Gopalan, Chief Commercial & Operations Officer, BG Moore, Chief of Staff at UST Global and City Lead, R. Kimberly Grigsby.

"We want to extend our congratulations to these women, who have worked very hard to join the ever-growing IT market, and we thank Discover for sharing our vision to bring fresh talent to our industry," said UST Global CEO Sajan Pillai. "These women are bright and tough, and they are precisely what the IT industry needs to create the next generation of innovation. This is another positive step in closing the gender gap in tech. We are proud of our part in that journey." 

"Chicago's strength comes from our diversity and unparalleled workforce," said Deputy Mayor Koch. "The City of Chicago congratulates these women who will help ensure the city's future grows even stronger and brighter, and we look forward to continuing to support impactful programs like Step IT Up."

"Skills for Chicagoland's future is proud to continue our partnership with UST Global connecting unemployed and underemployed women with promising new careers," said Lynch. "Innovative initiatives like Step IT Up fit perfectly with Skills' mission. UST Global has created a valuable tool to connect residents in Chicago's neighborhoods with opportunities at the top employers in our region."

"Discover is thrilled to have these talented women join our diverse workforce," said Glenn Schneider, CIO at Discover. "We embrace a culture of diversity and inclusion among our employees as we believe this makes us a stronger company that contributes to our success and produces better experiences for employees as well as our customers."  

Candidates can apply for the program at

About UST Global

UST Global is a leading digital technology services company that provides powerful solutions for Global 1000 companies. UST Global's mission is to lead companies through critical digital transformations to drive higher business value. UST Global specializes in six next generation digital services – design, cyber security, mobile, social, analytics and cloud. Powered by the mantra 'fewer clients, more attention', UST Global strives for excellence in providing their clients high quality services and a commitment to long-term success. Headquartered in Aliso Viejo, California, UST Global has over 15,000 associates; operating in 25 countries across four continents.

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About Skills for Chicagoland's Future

Skills for Chicagoland's Future (Skills) is a nonprofit, public-private partnership committed to returning unemployed and underemployed job seekers to work by creating demand-driven solutions for employers committed to hiring this population. Skills meet the hiring needs of employers by connecting them with qualified job seekers and providing innovative, customized hiring solutions. Skills is governed by a board of directors comprised of 20 chief executive, finance and human resources officers from the Chicago area. The organization is funded by the City of Chicago and The Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership, as well as a wide range of foundations and corporations. For more information, visit