Because Ben is lame and hasn’t blogged in over a month, Amanda Hayes, Senior Media Relations Manager, decided to take matters into her own hands…
Hawking. Gates. Wozniak. Nye. If you had to name today’s most notable leaders in science, tech, engineering and math, chances are you’d come up with a male-dominated cast list (perhaps heavy on the Steves and Bills). As more women enter power positions in a range of industries–and maybe even the White House—seemingly fewer ladies are leading science and tech companies. So, why this perception?
Companies are nipping the “STEM is for boys” notion in the bud, marketing new product lines to interest young girls in science and engineering. You’ve probably already seen examples, like GoldieBlox™, LEGO®, and Roominate™. But to this point, there haven’t been very many campaigns that get grown-up girls involved.
If you haven’t already noticed Axosoft’s striking It Was Never a Dress campaign, get ready to forever see restroom signs in a new way. But why would a B2B software company put so many resources behind a movement to get women (and men) to reconsider a commonly accepted icon? According to the site, “… when you’re conscious and collaborative, you can’t help but be aware of what’s going on in the world of technology and other spaces that women occupy. And with awareness comes responsibility. Our CEO is a woman and we have a team of women and men who care deeply about creating a vibrant tech/life ecosystem for everyone to feel included, celebrated, and like the freaking rock stars they are! That’s why. Stay tuned and keep disrupting.”
At AKHIA, we’re also lucky to work for a rock star female CEO, and that is evident in every corner of our agency culture. But this confidence in girl power isn’t limited to smaller businesses. Consider GE, one of the largest, longest standing leaders in the science and engineering space. As the company charges into new tech avenues like the Industrial Internet and Internet of Things, it is also making a concerted effort to get young girls interested in STEM exploration. Last week, GE Lighting hosted a year-end celebration for its 2015 GE Girls program, which engaged 160 sixth-graders from 15 schools in Northeast Ohio.
GE volunteers visited classrooms throughout the year, challenging the girls with a new STEM project each session and culminating with a final event at Progressive Field. Along with volunteers, many of whom hold tech and engineering roles at GE, the girls met local female leaders Maryrose Sylvester, President & CEO of GE Lighting; Barbara R. Snyder, President of Case Western Reserve University; Jane Christyson, CEO of Girl Scouts of Northeast Ohio; and Laura Kepley, Artistic Director of the Cleveland Play House.
With efforts like these, empowering girls of all ages to follow their interests with confidence, it’s safe to say we can expect to see a few more ladies on future STEM leaders lists. And I think that’s just Super.