Deloitte partners with comic book initiative to introduce girls to STEM careers, skills
- Deloitte has partnered with the Ella Project to develop a series of graphic novels spotlighting Ella the Engineer, a young protagonist who solves a variety of STEM-related challenges with the help of Deloitte leaders, the company announced. The comic books are intended to expose young girls to STEM fields and careers in a fun and inventive way, Deloitte said in a press release emailed to HR Dive.
- The partnership will produce four comic books and one graphic novel. Ella will provide a role model for girls interested in STEM, according to Deloitte CIO Nishita Henry. As the stories within the comic books unfold, Ella will showcase her talents in problem solving, collaboration and technology. Her first task, for example, will be to use analytic skills to recover a stolen class pet with the help of Deloitte Chair and Consulting CEO Janet Foutty.
- "This collaboration allows us the opportunity to highlight real life female role models in STEM, as their stories are woven into edutainment we know to be invaluable to our future leaders," Ella Project Founder Anthony Onesto said in a press release. "Ella, our tech savvy hero, is someone who young kids, girls and boys alike, can relate to and encourages the importance of critical-thinking throughout her exciting adventures."
To create diverse talent pools for STEM careers, companies and educators are reaching out to girls and minorities long before they're ready to apply for jobs. The Southern Arizona Research, Science and Engineering Foundation hosted a fair during which elementary students learned about science by eating bugs and building robots. And more than 100 tech companies got involved with SheTech Explorer Day last March to introduce 2,500 girls to STEM careers. IBM even created its own STEM high school in Brooklyn, New York, to train up a new generation of tech talent.
As leaders in STEM spaces look to rebrand their field, the path to robust diversity and inclusion within the sector may prove long. Cybersecurity's gender diversity struggles are rooted in a lack of interest and poor pay equity, a 2018 InfoSec Institute report found. Stories of success do exist, however; Intel said it met 'full representation' in its diversity goals in November.
Follow Riia O'Donnell on Twitter