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Press Release

NYCEDC, Women.NYC Launch Pivot to Growth, New Program to Facilitate Career and Business Pivots into Emerging Industries

Feb 27 2024
Happy female business colleagues communicating with each other.

Pivot to Growth Connects Women with Tools and Resources to Enter New York City’s Emerging Workforce Sectors: Technology, Green Economy, Life Sciences, Among Others

Initial Collaborations with LevelUP and GetSh!tDone will Provide Women of Color with Specialized Coaching to Advance Careers and Build Wealth

NEW YORK, NY—New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) today announced the next phase of the Women.NYC initiative – Women.NYC: Pivot to Growth. Pivot to Growth is a cohort bridge program designed to facilitate career and entrepreneurial pivots for women of color in early to mid-career stages to forge a career path in New York City’s emerging industries namely, technology, green economy, and life sciences. These industries have experienced tremendous growth over the past decade and are expected to grow faster than New York City’s overall economy in the coming years.

Pivot to Growth will offer phased cohort programs where participants will be introduced to high growth industries via workshops, learn to define their narrative, and create a path to pivot to new careers. The three phases include an industry context seminar, career pathways workshops, and specialized career coaching.

“Dismantling barriers to economic mobility and creating pathways for women of color to enter high growth careers with family sustaining wages is a key aspect of the Women Forward NYC action plan,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing, Economic Development and Workforce Maria Torres-Springer. “As we grow our city's green economy, technology sector, and life sciences industry, Pivot to Growth represents an important program to help ensure equitable and inclusive access to our thriving economy, and I am eager to see all the successes of this first cohort.”

“We know that when New York City’s women succeed, our city succeeds,” said Chief of Staff Camille Joseph Varlack. “The Adams administration is committed to making New York City the most women-forward city in the country and the Women.NYC: Pivot to Growth program builds on the progress that we have made, helping more women of color chart new career paths in technology, green economy, and life sciences. Our economy should reflect the diversity of our city and as we lead the charge in these innovation industries, we are committed to ensuring women are not left out of the economy of the future.”

“Women account for more than half of the population and nearly half of the workforce but remain underrepresented in the high-wage, high-growth sectors of today and tomorrow, including technology, life sciences, and the green economy,” said NYCEDC President & CEO Andrew Kimball. “The Pivot to Growth program will provide women of color with the critical resources needed to seamlessly transition into these emerging sectors. We are looking forward to the program's first cohort and cannot wait to watch these women contribute to a vibrant, inclusive, and globally competitive economy for all New Yorkers.”

To kick off the launch of Pivot to Growth, Women.NYC will feature two collaborations. The first is a partnership with the LevelUP tech cycle run by the Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) for black women in technology. LevelUP is a workforce advancement program, supported by Goldman Sachs’ One Million Black Women initiative, and designed to help black women get to the next stage professionally and build wealth. Each 10-week cycle provides its cohort with instruction, mentoring, and financial coaching to give the participants transferable skills and professional experience to excel in the economy. Women.NYC will provide individual and group mentorship sessions for all LevelUP participants at no cost.

This will be followed up by a Women.NYC collaboration with GetSh!tDone. This 7-week cycle is designed to support entrepreneurs in gaining the results they need to grow their businesses. The Get Sh!t Done Accelerator supports entrepreneurs in breaking through their business limitations with structured hands-on support that translates to actionable strategic and operational business growth. The program sets women up to succeed on their own terms.

Pivot to Growth is one of the many programs included in Women Forward NYC: An Action Plan for Gender Equity, a more than $43 million investment aimed at making New York City a national leader on gender equity, including for transgender and gender expansive New Yorkers, with the ambitious goal of becoming the most women-forward city in the United States. Supported through city dollars, private and public partnerships, academic institutions, and federal grant funding, the action plan addresses gender disparities by connecting women to professional development and higher-paying jobs; dismantling barriers to sexual, reproductive, and chronic health care; reducing gender-based violence against women; and providing holistic housing services, including for formerly incarcerated women and domestic and gender-based violence survivors.

Technology, green economy, and life sciences are sectors that New York City has identified for growth and investment, but where gender disparities emerge in a variety of ways. While New York City’s gross city product (GCP) has grown at an impressive 61 percent since 2012, the tech sector has grown by 176 percent, life sciences by 87 percent, and the nascent Green Economy is expected to grow 144 percent by 2030. These future-focused industries also represent a growing share of venture capital funding in New York City, increasing from 16 percent of total funding in 2015 to nearly 40 percent in 2022.

In New York City, women account for 34 percent of the tech workforce, and just 16 percent of the workforce are female Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC). Women account for only 15 percent of tech entrepreneurs in New York City. Women account for 57 percent of the life sciences workforce overall, but only 38 percent are BIPOC females. Women.NYC aims to close gender gaps in these sectors not only by introducing more women to these industries but also by helping them navigate their careers through coaching and strategic network building activities.

“We are thrilled to partner with New York City Economic Development Corporation to expand our LevelUP program through increased resources and mentorship opportunities for entrepreneurial women of color,” said Linda Johnson, President and CEO, Brooklyn Public Library. “BPL’s LevelUP program is supported by the Goldman Sachs One Million Black Women initiative and aims to help Black women accelerate their careers, combat systematic and individual discrimination in the job market, and build a more equitable future.”

“Women start companies at a higher rate than men but most women aren’t growing their businesses. Only 1.7% of women-owned businesses grow beyond $1M and nearly 90% earn less than $100k. Entrepreneurship can be a powerful vehicle to create economic opportunity but many women aren’t able to tap into the rewards. Get Sh!t Done’s mission is to bridge generational wealth gaps by supporting women entrepreneurs in growing their businesses in a way that aligns with their vision of success. We’re excited about our partnership with Women.NYC to support more women in scaling impact in NYC!” said Alex Batdorf, Founder & CEO of Get Sh!t Done.

Pivot to Growth is the second program under NYCEDC’s Women.NYC initiative aimed at helping women enter emerging industries and be a prominent voice in the future economy. The Women.NYC Network launched in April 2023, and has connected with over 1,000 women to date through its successful panel discussions, networking events, one on one office hours, and power circles. Registration for future events from both Pivot to Growth and The Network are available on the Women.NYC website.

Women.NYC is a City initiative, launched in 2018, created to help women of all backgrounds succeed in their businesses and careers. Since it was launched it has served over 10,000 participants. Currently, Women.NYC is focused on implementing tools and strategies to help connect women with careers in New York City’s future economy and improve women’s representation in emerging industries ensuring New York City is made up of diverse growth sectors. While offerings are geared towards women, people of all genders and identities are welcome to utilize Women.NYC’s programming and resources.

New York City Economic Development Corporation is a mission-driven, nonprofit organization that works for a vibrant, inclusive, and globally competitive economy for all New Yorkers. We take a comprehensive approach, through four main strategies: strengthen confidence in NYC as a great place to do business; grow innovative sectors with a focus on equity; build neighborhoods as places to live, learn, work, and play; and deliver sustainable infrastructure for communities and the city's future economy. To learn more about what we do, visit us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

About Women.NYC
Women.NYC—part of the New York City Economic Development Corporation— is an ambitious program created to make sure the city remains the best place in the world for women of all backgrounds to thrive in their careers, run businesses and launch startups. Women.NYC advances gender equality and fosters economic mobility by creating strategic partnerships with public and private sector partners, by launching tailored programming, and by amplifying all of the city’s economic empowerment programs.

About LevelUP
LevelUP is a Brooklyn Public Library Business & Career Center workforce advancement program designed to support Black women get to their next stage professionally and build wealth. We provide industry-specific class instruction, mentorship, and financial coaching in 3 sequential cohorts: Real Estate Development, Financial Compliance, and Technology/Cyber Security. For 10 weeks, LevelUP Leaders are challenged in their respective cohorts to think broadly about their transferable skillsets and potential to pivot careers. We lead with the tagline “You are Your Next Step!”, reminding women that when they invest in their growth, education, and overall wellness, they are unstoppable. Support for our program is provided by Goldman Sachs One Million Black Women initiative, a groundbreaking investment to positively impact the lives of at least one million Black women by 2030.

Brooklyn Public Library is one of the nation’s largest library systems and among New York City’s most democratic institutions. As a leader in developing modern 21st century libraries, we provide resources to support personal advancement, foster civic literacy, and strengthen the fabric of community among the more than 2.7 million individuals who call Brooklyn home. We provide nearly 60,000 free programs a year with writers, thinkers, artists, and educators—from around the corner and around the world. And we give patrons millions of opportunities to enjoy one of life’s greatest satisfactions: the joy of a good book.

About Goldman Sachs
Goldman Sachs One Million Black Women is a $10 billion investment commitment with $100 million in philanthropic capital to drive economic opportunity for at least one million Black women by 2030. One Million Black Women is a first-of-its-kind comprehensive investment focused on key moments in Black women's lives from early childhood through retirement, including housing, access to capital, and workforce advancement. To date, One Million Black Women has committed $2.3 billion in investment capital and $33 million in philanthropic capital.

About GetSh!tDone
Get Sh!t Done supports women entrepreneurs in growing game-changing businesses that scale generational impact. Our mission is to bridge the wealth gap with women entrepreneurs by providing them with the Network, Knowledge, and Know-How they need to grow their businesses in a way that defies the status quo and aligns with their vision of success. We provide hands-on support through business growth programs, community membership, and business growth workshops and events that help the entrepreneurs and communities we serve gain real results to grow.