New Initiative for College Women in STEM Studies Offers Education, Mentorship, Internships and Scholarships
Atlanta, GA – September 24, 2012 – The Atlanta-based non-profit Women in Technology Foundation (WIT Foundation) is launching a new initiative, WIT on Campus, designed to provide a support system for college women who have elected to study science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
The goal of the WIT on Campus program is to help young women better understand the opportunities open to them in STEM once they graduate, and to provide a support system to help them navigate through their undergraduate studies.
The program is being piloted at five Atlanta-area colleges:
- Georgia Institute of Technology
- Georgia State University
- Gwinnett Technical College
- Kennesaw State University
- Spelman College
A recent report by The U.S. Commerce Department’s Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA) confirms that there are fewer women than men in STEM jobs and attaining degrees in STEM fields. While women make up 48 percent of the U.S. workforce, they hold only 24 percent of STEM jobs.
Yet, according to Indra Bazaz Turnbull, who founded the WIT on Campus program and now serves as Co-Program Director, “More women attend college than men. More women graduate from college than men. And more women attend post-college programs than men. As women have steadily caught up and surpassed men in several measures of educational attainment over the past several decades, their underrepresentation in STEM fields has nevertheless remained fairly constant.”
“This initiative could not come at a better time,” said Stephanie Hill, executive director of WIT. “More than 4,000 STEM-related positions in the state of Georgia remain unfilled because there simply are not enough qualified applicants to fill them. Through WIT on Campus, along with the WIT Foundation’s other signature program, Girls Get IT (aimed at middle and high schools girls), we can help fill this gap.”
The official launch event, Inspiring the Next Generation of Female Leaders, held September 19 at the Georgia Tech Academy of Medicine, was attended by women studying at the five pilot colleges and WIT members. A panel discussion, led by female leaders from a variety of STEM disciplines, shared experiences and strategies on how they managed their careers from the classroom to the positions they currently hold. The program also touched on challenges women face in the 21st century, how they balance family with work, and what the future holds for female students in STEM studies.
Panel speakers at the event included:
- Dr. Jamie Bracy – Director of STEM Education, Temple University
- Dr. Linda Braddon – President, Secure BioMed Evaluations
- Dena Hamilton – VP Propositions; Americas, Detica NetReveal
- Marianne Johnson – EVP Global Product & Innovation, Elavon
- Dr. Emily Lankau – Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer, CDC
- The Honorable Annabelle Malins, Her Majesty’s Consul-General
- Carrie Wheeler – CIO, Cbeyond and 2011 WIT Women of Year in Technology Award Winner
The panel was moderated by Jannet Walker,VP, Deputy Program Director, Ch2M Hill and the WIT Foundation President.
For more information, and for students interested in signing up for the WIT on Campus program, please the WIT on Campus page.