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Girls Inc. joins STEM Mentoring Initiative “Million Women Mentors”

Partnership Seeks to Engage More Than One Million Girls & Young Women in STEM Education and Careers

New York, NY | Today Girls Inc. announced its partnership 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: www.girlsinc.org and MillionWomenMentors.org.
 
About Girls Inc.:
Girls Inc. inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and bold through life-changing programs and experiences that help girls navigate gender, economic, and social barriers. Research-based curricula, delivered by trained, mentoring professionals in a positive all-girl environment equip girls to achieve academically; lead healthy and physically active lives; manage money; navigate media messages; and discover an interest in science, technology, engineering, and math. The network of local Girls Inc. nonprofit organizations serves 136,000 girls ages 6 - 18 annually across the United States and Canada.  
 
About Million Women Mentors®(MWM)
Million Women Mentors®(MWM) is a collective national campaign and program with the purpose of captivating one million mentors to link with one million girls and young professionals for their STEM careers. Through its efforts MWM works to showcase existing best practice and suggestions for the future. Utilizing a technology portal built in three phases and developed in collaboration with Tata Consultancy Services, MWM technology will enable mentor services for the nation. The MWM website and program will launch January 8, 2014. The program is a collective effort of founding partners including 35 non-profits and major corporations and will also reach government agencies. MWM is an initiative of STEMconnector®, a company which works closely with corporations and other organizations to assist in corporate development, corporate structure and smart STEM investments.
 
About STEMconnector®
STEMconnector® is THE information resource and source of best practices – The one-stop for Who’s Doing What in STEM Education and STEM jobs. STEMconnector®’s web site contains 6,500 profiles of stakeholders in STEM Education. STEMconnector® purpose is to map STEM activity of organizations, government, private sector, education, associations, diversity and women. STEMconnector® overall works through collaboration with its members and partners. Members are in all sectors. STEM Council meetings are offered three times a year to members and these are business, government, education and non-profits. 
 
Million Women Mentors (MWM) is the collective action of 41 national partners (as of January 8, 2014). The four founding partners are STEMconnector®, National Girls Collaborative Project (NGCP), MentorNet, and NPower.  Lead partners include The National 4-H Council, Girls Inc., The Manufacturing Institute, MENTOR, Teach for America, AAUW, American Institute of Architects (AIA), Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC), Business and Professional Women’s Foundation (BPW), National Center for Women in Technology (NCWIT), YWCA, Junior Achievement, Sally Ride Science, Skills USA, Girl Scouts of the USA, Lean In, US News & World Report, Diversity Woman, Diplomatic Courier, Enterprising Women, Discovery Communications,  National Utilities Diversity Council (NUDC), National Women’s Political Caucus, eWomen Network, Girlstart, Global WIN,  Innovate+Educate, My College Options, National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity (NAPE), US 2020, Women in Engineering ProActive Network (WEPAN), Computer Clubhouse Network, LATINAstyle, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), Success in the City, Arizona State University, Nepris  and more.
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