The Cognizant Founders Cup is intended to serve as the LPGA event that honors the 13 women who founded the golf tour back in 1950 — legendary players such as Patty Berg, Louise Suggs and Babe Didrikson Zaharias who helped pave the way for female golfers and female athletes, decades before Title IX.
It’s a great look back at the past.
The leaders at Cognizant Technology Solutions share in that salute. But the Teaneck-based Fortune 500 company also hopes to honor that group in an additional way: by looking forward. It sees the founders’ efforts as a blueprint for today, an example of how strong, talented and determined women can lead the way in all endeavors — especially in the business world.
It’s the reason why the Cognizant will serve as the title sponsor for the third consecutive year when the event is held at the Upper Montclair Country Club in Clifton during the week of May 8-14.
Antonella Bonanni, Cognizant’s chief marketing officer for the Americas, said the event’s vision matches the mission of the company, which has made bringing more women into the tech community a primary focus.
Tickets and sponsorships
The Cognizant Founders Cup will be played the week of May 8-14 at the Upper Montclair Country Club in Clifton. It figures to attract a top field, as it has the second-largest purse outside of a major tournament.
For ticket information (and those 17 and under are free with a paying adult), click here.
To learn more about how your company can become a sponsor, click here.
“We have made an aggressive commitment to helping our women associates not just succeed, but flourish,” she said.
Bonanni pointed to Cognizant’s Propel program — the company’s signature women’s leadership development program for mid- and senior-level women leaders across the globe.
The program aims to accelerates a diverse leadership pipeline and to enable women leaders to thrive and succeed in a digital era.
Bonanni, speaking at media day Tuesday, said the program is doing all that — and doing it ahead of schedule.
“In 2023, we set a goal to have 19% of senior management made up of women,” she said. “We’re only a quarter into the year and we’ve almost achieved that goal.”
The tech community as a whole has been slow to embrace diversity & inclusion — both in regard to women and people of color — throughout its history.
Cognizant Technology Solutions feels it engineers modern businesses by helping its clients modernize technology, reimagine processes and transform experiences so they can stay ahead in our fast-changing world. Cognizant works to advance diversity & inclusion in its business and beyond, including its partnership with the LPGA Tour, which aims to make sports more inclusive at all levels across the globe.
Bonanni said Cognizant made a conscious decision to effect change. And it wasn’t just for mentoring and advancement for those within the company. Cognizant wants to show the next generation that there is a future for them in tech, too.
Bonanni said the company added what it calls a “winternship” program as a way to bring more college students into the company — even for only a short time. Cognizant feels that experience will help the company identify more potential full-time hires and help college students identify Cognizant as a destination employer.
“This is very important to us,” she said.
Bonanni said the Cognizant was not necessarily looking for a sports event to match that mission, but when it learned of the Founders Cup — and learned that it was being played about a dozen miles from its headquarters — the fit was too perfect.
“We were looking for an organization that was putting in the same time and resources to help increase opportunities for women — that’s what the LPGA is all about,” she said. “Everything about the LPGA was a perfect fit because of its commitment to leveling the playing field for women and fighting for them to get the same opportunities and recognition as their male counterparts.
“It really was synergistic in terms of what we want to achieve as a company in terms of our commitment to diversity, inclusion, specifically when it comes to women’s issues.”