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Sunday July 22, 2018

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Bring more girls into Stem workforce.

Women are just 13 percent of mechanical engineering undergraduate students. And women earn only 14.2 percent of doctorate degrees in mechanical engineering. More broadly, women make up 49 percent of the college-educated workforce, but only 14 percent of practicing engineers nationwide.

Science and technology have the power to do good, by helping solve many of the great challenges of our day. They can mitigate global warming, hold the promise to cure cancer and help keep our national assets resilient to cyberattack. But we need more girls to unlock the potential of these next-generation innovations.

Experts tell us that there are a variety of things that will help. For example, we need to encourage young girls to develop their spatial skills, laying the foundation for further scientific exploration as they grow.

We also need to find ways to help women feel less alone as they help us build a more inclusive engineering community. This includes hosting female-focused engineering interest groups on campuses and in workplaces, and highlighting engineering role models who reflect the true diversity of our population.

All of these things are important, but one of the simplest and most effective things we can do differently is something as simple as richer storytelling. Most people have a very limited understanding of what engineers do – and we engineers don’t do a good job of expanding that view.

Together, we are committed to unleashing the power of girls, helping them see themselves not simply as users of technology, but as innovators, designers and creators. By demonstrating the power of science and technology to do good, we can help inspire more girls and women to stay engaged with STEM classes in school all while preparing them for the jobs of the future. Maybe one of the Girl Scouts who takes part in our program is the one who will develop an unhackable app that protects personal information, improves access to lifesaving medical care or creates new sustainable energy solutions.

Girls are the future – and we're helping them create it.

 

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