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STEM Is for Them: Inspiring the Future Generation of Girls in STEM

By now, it should be no secret that, for women to rise into positions of leadership, we need to close the gender gap in tech. Despite popular belief, young girls do enjoy STEM/STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) subjects. So, what’s the issue? Research shows that they opt out of STEM/STEAM once they reach middle school. The reason? Without role models who look like them and approach the subject from diverse perspectives, girls begin to feel that STEM/STEAM is not for them.”

In celebration of National STEM/STEAM Day, we’re showcasing all the real women and girls who have accomplished incredible things in STEM/STEAM fields so that girls can become the next generation of world leaders. Like we always say: If you can see her, then you can be her.

From STEM/STEAM role models to digital creators to girls who are just beginning to journey into STEM/STEAM, watch leaders in full panels on The Female Quotient Facebook page and read on for some of the best bites of advice we received.

female squad

Photo by Joel Muniz on Unsplash

 

“Women make up half of the U.S. college-educated workforce, but they only hold 28% of all STEM jobs. So, in some ways, it feels like we have a pipeline problem and a brand problem. The question is how do we go about fixing it?”

Lisa Sherman, CEO, Ad Council

 

“We really have to engage very early on, starting in middle school. It’s not about just bringing them in because this is a cool space—it goes beyond what we have today because it has a very diverse representation of thought.”

Jaya Kolhatkar, Chief Data Officer, Hulu

 

“One of the campaigns that I oversee is our girls in STEM campaign where we talk to middle school girls and say, ‘Hey, you belong in STEM. Don’t drop out. Don’t think that it’s a boys’ game.’ Our goal is to show girls that they belong.”

Rowena Patrick, VP, Campaigns, Ad Council

 

“To get more women in tech, we have to open the doors and teach women how to do it.”

Dao Jensen, CEO, Kaizen Technologies

 

“Think about how you can help women accelerate by giving them access to opportunities.”

Chaitra Vedullapalli, Co-founder & CMO, Meylah & Women In Cloud

 

“My parents always taught us, ‘Get an education and be financially independent.’”

Linda Yaccarino, Chairman, Advertising and Partnerships, NBCUniversal

 

“Women are not all just ‘pink.’ Thanks to technology, we, as an industry, have the ability to support women who have very different ways of living their lives. Celebrating the multiplicity of women is where we have to go next. That is the next phase of this conversation around diversity and inclusion.”

Abigail Posner, Director of Strategy, Content and Production, Google’s Brand Unit

 

“The brands that are the most valuable today have mastered the use of technology to deliver the best, most personalized customer experience. As humans, we experience 27 different types of emotions. Today’s consumers are relying on feeling more than ever before to determine purchasing decisions.”

Alicia Tillman, Chief Marketing Officer, SAP

 

“As a leader, putting humanity on display is important for galvanizing your team. In my life, I show my humanity to people at work by opening up about my own shortcomings and failures. 

Julia Hammond, Managing Director, HEAT/Deloitte

 

“Innovation requires a diversity of thought and perspective. [Create] value through diversity. Be yourself. Be different.”

Jennie Blumenthal, Partner at PwC

 

“I am hoping that in the future we don’t have to qualify that I am a female technologist.”

Mitra Best, Lead Principal, Strategic Innovation and Technology, PwC

 

“Even search engine algorithms are biased. When you search for artists, you see men. When you search the world’s greatest thinkers, you see men. We want to give equal visibility to women and men.”

Ilaria Resta, President, North America Hair Care, P&G

 

“In the connected world, it’s no longer just about what ‘I’ need— it’s what ‘we’ need and what ‘we’ demand from the companies ‘we’ purchase.”

Alicia Hatch, Chief Marketing Officer at Deloitte Digital

 

“[The women at Spotify] are not in the roles that they are in because they are women and we hired them, but because they are the best candidates. From a diversity standpoint, what we can do every day when we come to work is to create that space, the space to have the confidence to step up in the tech world and to look across the room and see diversity of gender, race, age, and experience.”

Khartoon Weiss, Global Head of Verticals, Spotify

 

“Technology can help in the beginning stages of building your brand. Physical capabilities don’t matter. It’s mental and how much work you put in, so there’s a lot of potential for women to succeed in this space.”

Gaylen Malone, Senior General Manager, Cloud9

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Happy National STEM/STEAM Day! To find more inspiring stories of women who have done incredible things in STEM/STEAM fields and resources for getting more girls involved in science, technology, engineering, art, and math, be sure to check out:

Brand Purpose: Discovering Yours and Owning It

Redefining Leadership: The Inclusion Imperative

I Am The Future: Women, Tech & Equality