How to Change Lives and Create Opportunities in IT

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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  1. Natalia Grzebien September 18, 2015 - Reply

    Thank you Lori and the entire Xerox (especially the women involved Pat Brewer, Anne Bell and Susan Hill…just to mention few) for supporting such a wonderful initiative as StepIT Up America program… joining Xerox as Business Systems Analyst gives me a boost of confidence and pride of being part of Xerox Information Management team.

    • Pat Brewer September 22, 2015 - Reply

      Natalia, this is just the first step to what I am sure will be a long and very successful career for you in IT. Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication to the Step It Up Program. Cheers, Pat

    • Mark September 23, 2015 - Reply

      Natalia you have won the internet.

  2. Lori Webster September 21, 2015 - Reply

    Natalia, we are thrilled to have you and all the Step IT Up America program participants join us and wish you much success!

  3. Bernadette Maune September 22, 2015 - Reply

    It’s a great initiative for young women with skills and talent in math and science who have no role models in these areas and need the support to create a career path for themselves; thanks to the organizers; my granddaughters need you! Bernadette

  4. Cynthia Chandler September 23, 2015 - Reply

    So thrilled to hear of this program! As an educator, I have spent over 30 years encouraging girls to have the same educational experiences as boys to support their science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics skills from preschool through highschool. This program illustrates that “girls” CAN do IT! Fortunately, Xerox has competent, inspirational and IT successful women to lead this program. Their mentoring will demonstrate how to grow professionally to then lead others in the field of IT! Hopefully this is just the beginning and the program will expand with other companies joining the effort. Congratulations and best wishes to the graduates for a successful IT career with Xerox! ~Cindy

    • Pat September 23, 2015 - Reply

      Thank you Cindy. We at Xerox could not agree more. There are so many great career opportunities in the STEM field. We need to get more women INTERESTED and EDUCATED on the significant number of potential IM career paths. Thank you for your reinforcing comments. Pat

  5. D September 25, 2015 - Reply

    Is there a similar program and opportunity for young men?

    • Gregory Pings September 28, 2015 - Reply

      Thank you for reading Simplify Work, D, and thank you for your question.

      This particular article focuses on the Step IT Up Program. As you may know, the percentage of women in careers related to science, technology, engineering and Math (STEM) has diminished for the past several years. Because Xerox is an equal opportunity employer, and given that the STEM field is under-represented by females, we are focused on ensuring we have a diverse employee population to provide services to our customers.

      Step IT Up is just one of many initiatives that bring us well-qualified men and women.



  6. Susan petty September 28, 2015 - Reply

    I am truly grateful for the opportunities Xerox has provided in my success as a customer service engineer. Learning about programs like STEM that make it possible for other women to experience the same type of career momentum makes me proud to represent the Xerox brand.

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