With More Than Three Million Reached Through Social Media, STEMconnector® Celebrates Women in STEM and Challenges Community to Mentor Future Leaders
Submitted by Tommy Cornelis on October 10, 2012
Washington D.C., October 9, 2012—Honoring the achievements of women in STEM, STEMconnector®, a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) information aggregator, hosted events on Tuesday, Oct. 2, featuring almost 50 of the celebrated women in business, government and non-profit sectors. It marked the first gathering of the 100 Women Leaders in STEM in Washington, D.C. The Coca-Cola Company, Deloitte, DARCARS Automotive Group, Bloomberg Government, Reston Limousine and Widmeyer Communications sponsored the receptions.
STEMconnector®’s 100 Women Leaders in STEM Senate Program took place at the Hart Senate Building and at Bloomberg Government, Washington, DC, at which such leaders as Iowa Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (NY-D), NASA’s Deputy Administrator, Lori Garver, and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator, the Hon. Lisa P. Jackson, all took part. “NASA has a unique role in STEM. We are a beacon to the next generation, inspiring them to pursue STEM in school and as a career. And we are an employer…we need those students to fill the jobs we offer,” Garver stated. “Our investments in STEM are not simply theoretical – we are looking for the people who will build the rocket ships and satellites of tomorrow.” STEMconnector® is actively working to inspire the next generation of STEM professionals and address the looming shortage of science, engineering and technology expertise in the U.S.
STEMconnector® published “100 Women Leaders in STEM” to showcase the careers and initiatives of more than one hundred women leaders who are active role models for women and girls. Although women fill close to half of all jobs in the U.S. economy, they hold less than 25 percent of STEM jobs overall, a number that has remained flat since 1985 according to research from the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). "Diversity in the workplace and access to quality STEM education are a national imperative that when met will ensure that the brightest minds from the U.S. are the ones leading innovation and technological solutions to global, environmental, health and critical issues," said Pilar Montoya, Chief Executive Officer of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE).
Sen. Gillibrand hosted the Senate reception and was on hand to celebrate with honorees. “We need more young girls to envision themselves as scientists and engineers like you. I see it in my son’s pre-school. We need your stories to reach those little girls,” Gillibrand said. Acknowledging successful women in the profession is key to encouraging young girls and women to explore opportunities in STEM careers. Lisa P. Jackson, Administrator, EPA stated, “Whenever I meet with young women, I encourage them to throw out their idea of what a 'scientist' is supposed to look like.”
The need for STEM professionals has increased and finding qualified workers for jobs of the future in order to ensure U.S. competitiveness and innovation has become the clarion call from business and industry. “We recognize women are a major solution to STEM careers in every sector. With these role models, the goal is clear—to advance the cause of attracting more girls and women to STEM careers as our country´s economy relies more than ever on a prepared STEM workforce,” said Edie Fraser, STEMconnector®’s Chief Executive Officer, when addressing the audience at Bloomberg Government.
The Coca-Cola Company’s Rhona Applebaum, Chief Scientific and Regulatory Officer, put the STEM career conversation in perspective. “As leaders and role models, we have an obligation to both mentor future generations for STEM careers and advocate for the necessity of STEM disciplines in every sector we represent,” Applebaum stated. “The future success of all sectors is dependent upon the collective integration of STEM as the foundation for future innovations and communicating its irrefutable benefits to the public.”
Jessica Blume, Vice Chairman, Deloitte, honored the legacy of the late astronaut, and STEM diversity advocate, Sally Ride in her address. “Sally Ride always challenged us with the question, ‘why not?’ When we consider how to go about changing the diversity issue in STEM careers, we always need to focus on the solutions, not the challenges. We need to be bold,” said Blume. To that end, SWE Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, Betty Shanahan, announced STEMconnector®’s latest challenge to the community. “At the Clinton Global Initiative America meeting in June, STEMconnector® led a team of STEM organizations in committing to one million hours of professionals mentoring young people and their adult influencers. Our national security, economic competitiveness and quality of life are fueled by the innovations of the STEM workforce,” noted Shanahan. “But in many STEM fields, we don’t leverage our nation’s competitive advantage – our diversity. I challenge you to ensure all outreach activities are compelling for all young people.”
Speakers at the events included:
- Lisa P. Jackson, Administrator, United States Environmental Protection Agency
- Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, U.S. Senate, New York
- Lori Garver, Deputy Administrator, NASA
- Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, Iowa
- Rhona Applebaum, Chief Scientific and Regulatory Officer, The Coca-Cola Company
- Jessica Blume, Vice Chair, Deloitte
- Joan Kelly, Group Executive, Software Development, MasterCard
- Xiaochun Luo, Group Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer, Avon
- Pilar Montoya, Chief Executive Officer, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers
- Cindy Moss, PhD, Director, STEM Initiatives, Discovery Education
- Betty Shanahan, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, Society of Women Engineers
- Ellen Smith, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, National Grid
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STEMconnector®™ is a STEM information aggregator with a web site of more than 5000 profiles, products including STEMdaily® and STEM Town Halls, STEM Results and STEM Council and offers initiatives to support organizations with integrating STEM best practices to develop their STEM workforce pipeline. Our mission is to provide information and resources that increase communication, encourages collaboration and promotes sustainable and replicable approaches. By pursuing this mission we aim to realize efficiency gains by eliminating duplicate efforts and focusing on results. Accomplishing these ambitious goals requires that we leverage our collective experience and that of our partners to develop innovative communications and products that reach diverse audiences in impactful and meaningful ways. STEMdaily® goes to thousands of thought leaders daily. STEM Town Halls capture thought leadership. STEM Results are pushing organizations to show impact. The next STEMconnector® major publication, 100 CEO Leaders in STEM, will be released June, 2013 at US News STEM Summit. For more corporate relations regarding this publication, contact Lorena.Fimbres@STEMconnector.org
Visit us at www.STEMConnector.org.