Our work with longstanding IAC partner Girls Who Code (GWC) on its Summer Immersion program for high schoolers was both gratifying and impactful, but we wanted to see how we could leverage the program into a vehicle to more directly insert GWC grads into our recruiting pipeline and connect them with real job opportunities across IAC. We saw GWC as not only a partner with a critical mission, but as a diverse network of burgeoning talent we wanted to more directly tap.
IAC was already a host for Girls Who Code’s Summer Immersion Programs for high school students, and from this designed and launched the IAC Girls Who Code Alumni Program in the summer of 2014. This stemmed from the desire to foster ongoing relationships with grads of the program as they move through their college careers, with the hopes of bringing these talented individuals back into the IAC family of brands, particularly within our technology, product and engineering teams.
The program is selective and only open to GWC graduates who have moved on to college. The 8 week paid internship mirrors a real world job application and interviewing process; candidates are ultimately selected by any one of IAC’s participating brands to become part of a technical team. In addition to working on the front lines of the business day to day, participants also spend a half day a week on a group project (under the supervision of a technical mentor) culminating in a live presentation to IAC’s top executives, including IAC CEO Joey Levin.
In the 3 years since launching the IAC GWC Alumni Program, we’ve seen applications more than triple, with 15 participants getting paid experience at the likes of Vimeo, The Daily Beast, Dotdash and IAC’s Applications group. IAC’s HR and recruiting teams also maintain an active dialogue with participants throughout their college experience. Our inaugural alumni are just now heading into their senior year of college – making it too soon to talk about job placements – but this will be a key priority for us heading into the next year.
I firmly believe that for IAC to translate 20 years of success into 20 more years of a bigger and brighter future, we must have a workforce representative of the diversity of our world and the consumers we serve every day.