Politecnico and Amazon together to support female students of STEM subjects

Amazon Women in Innovation Bursary awarded to the Politecnico student Jihad Founoun, studying Computer Engineering

Encouraging young women in their ambition to pursue a career in STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) is one of the Politecnico’s diversity & inclusion objectives. Through the POP – Pari Opportunità Politecniche programme (Polytechnic Equal Opportunities), the university is committed to guaranteeing a study and work environment that respects gender identities, different skills, cultures and origins. 

This strategic plan often aligns with the objectives of large companies: such as Amazon, which, for the fourth consecutive year, has awarded the  Amazon Women in Innovation Bursary to support training in areas where, unfortunately, the proportion of female students is still low, helping the recipients to become leaders of the tech future and an example for many young women studying sciences.  

The Amazon Women in Innovation Bursary consists of a  €6,000 grant for the 2021/2022 academic year , with possible renewal for the following two years. In addition to supporting female students financially, Amazon also makes available its company managers, as mentors to help the students to develop useful skills for future work, such as building an effective CV or training for interview at Amazon or other companies. 

There are four bursaries this year, one of which is in collaboration with the Politecnico di Milano . The winner - Jihad Founoun   - is currently in her first year of Computer Engineering. The other recipients include Valentina Cristoferi, studying Computer Engineering at the Politecnico di Torino; Elisa Cacace studying Computer Engineering at the ‘Tor Vergata’ University of Rome and Giorgia Orofino, studying Computer Engineering at the University of Cagliari.  

Jihad Founoun
Jihad Founoun 


 The passion for computer science is a “family affair” for Jihad Founoun  , a twenty-year-old from Monza of Moroccan origin, who enrolled in the Computer Engineering course at the Politecnico di Milano in part thanks to the encouragement by her developer sister:

“I graduated from the Istituto Professionale Odontotecnico (Dentistry College) but I have always been good in science and my sister encouraged me to change direction at university. I like programming and I love the idea of being able to manage and solve big problems through a 'simple' code”.

Jihad Founoun would like to become a teacher to make information technology more accessible to more people.

I think it's important to have have inspiring female role models in STEM subjects, as happened to me with my sister Amina. To all girls interested in STEM subjects, I would like to say: don’t be put off by prejudices.Fortunately, there are projects such as Amazon's Women in Innovation Bursary, thanks to which I will have the necessary support to continue on my course and fulfil my dreams”

You too can support future female students in Engineering courses with low female participation rates: donate to Girls@Polimi. Click here.

Credits Header: https://uwaterloo.ca/future-students/programs/mathematical-physics