NEW YORK - January 8, 2014 — Girls Inc. will partner with the “Million Women Mentors” (MWM) initiative. MWM will launch Jan. 8, 2014 during National Mentoring Month, in Washington, D.C at the National Press Club. The initiative will support the engagement of one million science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) mentors – male and female – to increase the interest and confidence of girls and young women to pursue and succeed in STEM degrees and careers.
For over 25 years, Girls Inc. has developed girls’ enthusiasm for and skills in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) with Girls Inc. Operation SMART®. Through hands-on activities, girls explore, ask questions, persist, and solve problems. By interacting with women and men pursuing STEM careers, girls come to view these careers as exciting and realistic options for themselves.
“Girls Inc. knows it is essential for the girls we serve to embrace STEM as a possibility for their futures, and the power of meeting diverse women in these roles,” said Judy Vredenburgh, President and CEO of Girls Inc. “We are delighted to collaborate with partners from across academic, corporate, government, and nonprofit sectors to provide the role models and access to the girls and women who can become our next generation of STEM leaders.”
In the past 10 years, growth in STEM jobs has been three times greater than that of non-STEM jobs. Today 80% of the fastest growing occupations in the United States depend on mastery of mathematics and knowledge and skills in hard sciences. While women comprise 48% of the U.S. workforce, just 24% are in STEM fields, a statistic that has held constant for nearly the last decade. While 75% of all college students are women and students of color, they represent only 45% of STEM degrees earned each year. Too many of these young women begin in STEM degrees but leave those degree paths despite their good academic standing, often citing uncomfortable classroom experiences and disconcerting climate. Even when women earn a STEM degree, they are less likely than their male counterparts to work in a STEM field even though STEM jobs pay more and have a lower wage gap: 92 cents on a dollar versus 75 cents in other fields.
Million Women Mentors is a collective effort of more than 40 non-profit, media, education and government industry partners and nine corporate sponsors.
To become involved with Girls Inc. or Million Women Mentors, you can find more information by visiting MillionWomenMentors.org.