Nordstrom has teamed up with Morehouse College, a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) based in Atlanta, to launch a new product management track of courses and mentorship program.
Starting in the spring 2023 semester, Nordstrom leaders and technologists will teach and mentor students within this new product management track. Students attending colleges within the Atlanta University Center Consortium and broader Atlanta Regional Council of Higher Education network of schools will have the opportunity to register for these courses starting Nov. 7.
The courses that will be offered include Computing Career Exploration, which aims to prepare students for technology careers, and Introduction to Tech Product Management, which focuses on what products are, the role of product managers and what career paths exist in the field.
“We see opportunity to increase diversity and representation in technology, and by partnering with Morehouse College, we hope that we can create more pathways for Black technologists and future leaders,” Ian Heisser, senior director of engineering at Nordstrom Inc., said in a statement. “Product Management is one of the fastest growing roles in technology and is critical to enhancing our customers’ experience. It’s critical that our product managers reflect the diverse group of customers we serve. We look forward to working directly with the students and building an even deeper connection to the Atlanta market.”
Dr. Kinnis Gosha, executive director and chief research officer of the Morehouse Center for Broadening Participation in Computing at Morehouse College, broke down why this partnership is notable. “One, it will allow those underrepresented in technology to be exposed to different roles in the technology workforce,” Dr. Gosha said. “Two, fashion is a significant part of defining culture. Understanding the role technology plays in the success of a fashion retailer will help attract and retain technologists of color and will create new pathways for them to thrive in the technology workforce.”
This new partnership is the latest initiative Nordstrom has launched with HBCUs. Earlier this year, Nordstrom participated in HBCU Battle of the Brains where Nordstrom employees coached students from Fisk University and Morehouse College to first and second place. Nordstrom also celebrated the recent HBCU Classic with a VIP cocktail event and Pop N’ Shop at its Nordstrom NYC store.