NOTE: Experis embraces STEM education initiatives and strives to help build the workforce of tomorrow. During National Engineers Week, February 19-25, 2017, we would like to highlight and example and encourage everyone to get involved in promoting STEM careers.
“I heard lots of ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’,” said Experis’ Christine McGuire while recalling her recent trip to St. Jude Medical, now Abbott, with more than 40 middle school girls. “The look on girls’ faces when they were actively engaged in the activities was astonishing. They were shocked that this is what this company does and how these devices impact everyone’s life.”
McGuire is a part of a team at Experis that is helping to introduce young girls to STEM careers (science, technology, engineering and math) through experiential learning.
According to the United States Census Bureau, women make up nearly half of the working population, but remain underrepresented in STEM occupations, making up just 26 percent of STEM workers whereas men make up 74 percent. In addition, 80 percent of the fastest growing occupations in the U.S. depend on a mastery of mathematics and scientific knowledge and skills.
Experis is teaming up with for-profit, education and nonprofit partners to bridge the gender disparity of women in STEM careers. At Abbott, the students handled medical devices, simulated installing the devices in pretend patients and learned how the devices’ software impacts real people.
“This all has materialized due to our work with clients,” said Tonya Tatro, managing director at Experis. “Although our clients have programs in place like college internships, we hear over and over from them that they need to engage even younger students to attract the talent needed in engineering careers. We saw it as an opportunity to pair our expertise with our passion for this community. We are affecting change by connecting students with our clients to introduce young girls to careers in STEM fields.”
Once established, the group of passionate community members and professionals sought to leverage their local efforts to drive greater national impact and joined up with the Million Women Mentors. Three Experis staff members lead the organization’s Minneapolis-St. Paul efforts on its local advisory board. Through this work, Experis is creating opportunities to ignite curiosity in STEM careers to close the gender gap and strengthen the future success of clients and professionals.
If you’d like to learn more about what’s happening in the world of engineering, check out this report from Experis, Focus on Engineering 2017.