Looking to diversify STEM fields, tech companies host 'SheTech Explorer Day'
- More than 100 tech companies will be involved in SheTech Explorer Day in March, described as the largest STEM activation program for girls and women by the Women Tech Council. The Utah event is expected to introduce more than 2,500 girls to careers in STEM fields with virtual reality, coding, modeling, engineering and robotics activities.
- Explorer Day, however, is just the first step. SheTech says it also provides high school girls with tools to help them prepare for and pursue STEM degrees by helping them land internships, learn about college scholarships and find courses that match their interests in their school and district.
- Combined, SheTech's offerings amount to a "continual integration" of STEM into girls' lives, the Council notes. Ongoing support and mentoring can help young women have successful STEM careers.
As diversity emerges as a major trend for hiring in 2018 and beyond, a lack of diversity in STEM careers, in particular, leads as a key concern. After all, diversity doesn't just boost engagement and limit discrimination claims; a new study reveals a causal link between diversity in the workplace and innovation.
To both cope with a skills gap and funnel girls into STEM, many companies are collaborating with high schools to pique interest and drive educational choices. The challenge for many employers and schools, however, may be in ‘rebranding’ STEM careers to show students that science is in everything they do and that STEM careers are not limited to computer science and industrial engineering.
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