28 Jan Million Women Mentors initiative increases awareness and participation of women in STEM occupations
Kansas City, MO – This week, KC STEM Alliance and The Missouri Mathematics and Science Coalition, along with multiple Missouri and Kansas STEM industries, organizational and educational partners are joining efforts with the Million Women Mentors initiative to increase awareness and participation of women in STEM occupations.
The national goal of the movement is to garner one million mentors in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) professions over the next four years and to increase the interest and confidence of girls and young women in these academic areas. Missouri and Kansas are joining approximately 30 states by collectively pledging 7,000 mentors.
By taking the pledge at www.MillionWomenMentors.org, these states, organizations and corporations are committing to mentoring a young woman for a minimum of 20 hours through one of the five suggested mentor pathways.
This is much needed, considering women comprise about 50% of the US workforce, but only 24% in STEM fields.
In order to increase this percentage groups must work together to break down barriers and dispel myths that women are either not smart enough, driven or have the aptitude to enter into a STEM career. The shortest route to do so is to demonstrate to young girls and women that there are highly successful women that are currently working in STEM occupations across a diverse set of industries. Million Women Mentors is dedicated to providing the portal to connect professional STEM women and men as mentors to young girls and women.
The Million Women Mentor’s initiative aligns well with current efforts being conducted across Missouri and Kansas with groups like KC STEM Alliance, Missouri Mathematics and Science Coalition, Science Pioneers, Girl Scouts, Society of Women Engineers, the National Girls Collaborative Project and ongoing initiatives like WiSTEMM and KCWiT.
“We cannot afford to leave out 50% of this country’s workforce, especially in STEM fields,” said Laura Loyacono, Executive Director of KC STEM Alliance. “We are intentionally working to change the representation of women in STEM fields by increasing the engagement of girls with STEM subjects through coursework, access to female mentors and extracurricular activities. We are pleased to play a collaborative leadership role in both Missouri and Kansas by convening STEM partners across the state line to support the Million Women Mentor movement.”
We cannot hold back the scientist and innovators of tomorrow based upon the stereotypes of today.
To learn how you can participate in your state’s efforts please register at the website www.MillionWomenMentors.org. Watch for state-by-state updates of highlighted during Women’s History Month in March of 2015.
About Million Women Mentors: Launched on January 8th, 2014, MWM is the collective action of over 58 national partners and 30 corporate sponsors (as of July 2014) designed to increase the number of girls and women within the high school to work age continuum that persist and succeed in STEM programs and careers. For more information on MWM, please visit www.MillionWomenMentors.org.