Celebrating International Women’s Day: We Can and Will Increase Girls in STEM

| MSFT Staff

Last week was International Women’s day (IWD).  Did you take time to appreciate the women in your life? If you forgot, worry not. The whole month of March is dedicated to women. If you feel one month just isn’t enough, you may show your appreciation year round.

We celebrated IWD at NERD with a panel of accomplished women keen on increasing their numbers in STEM (science technology, engineering and math) roles. Today these jobs are predominately held by men.  Why? Because women are not exposed to these fields as early nor are they encouraged to pursue them as heavily.

With advice from our panel, we can and will see more women in STEM. Susan Metz, Angie Anderson, Katie Rae and Pamela Goldberg brought a variety of perspectives and insights on how we can collectively and easily bring about change.

The evening moderator, Pamela Goldberg is the first woman to lead the Mass Tech Collaborative in its 30 year history. Working closely with the Patrick-Murray administration, she supports Massachusetts’s innovative and technological economy. Mass Tech’s enthusiasm to increase hi-tech development can and will create more STEM roles for Massachusetts residents.

Susan Metz, Principal Investigator at Stevens Institute of Technology has secured over $9 million in government, corporate and grant funding to increase access, retention and advancement for women in engineering and science.  Her research reveals girls should be introduced to STEM opportunities by 4th grade, otherwise the chances of them purchasing such careers drops significantly. Her personal dedication and access to financial commitments support programs that can and will ensure STEM is introduced early enough.

NERD’s own Angie Anderson, Director of Development, has been with Microsoft for 5 years.  When she comes across a female or minority’s resume, she moves it to the top of the list.  This increases their chances of being considered and with that opportunity, more women can and will excel in the tech sector.

Katie Rae, Managing Director of TechStars spoke about female entrepreneurs and the lack of.  Today’s innovation is driven by hi-tech and software development.  More men start companies because they are software engineers.  When more women become software engineers then more can and will become entrepreneurs.

It’s a vicious cycle. Change in the early phase can and will influence the whole cycle. Our IWD celebration focused on this early phase and celebrated the launch of Boston Area Girls in STEM Collaborative.

Most people think change doesn’t happen overnight.  Well, it can! Sign your middle school daughter up for TechSavvyand I personally guarantee she will love everything STEM overnight. An educational and fun way to spend April vacation? Yes. You will love it too.


Katie Rae


Susan Metz

 

Pam Goldberg

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