Million Women Mentors Movement Guiding Females to STEM Careers

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When Kate Lindsey took over her late husband’s construction firm, one of the first things she did was ask the firm’s 22 women engineers to identify the biggest determent they faced going into the field of construction and engineering.

At least two indicated that it was the college instructors who served as their advisers, Lindsey recently told the Women Mayors Caucus of the United States Conference of Mayors.

“My college guidance counselor told me that construction isn’t a field for women,” Lindsey recounted, paraphrasing what the female engineers told her when she surveyed them at Alpha Corporation, an international construction and engineering firm headquartered in Dulles, Virginia.

“I was shocked,” Lindsey said. “It tells me we need to do a better job of educating professors on what they deliver as a message to their students.”

The discouragement that females may face in higher education and elsewhere as they seek to enter fields such as engineering is one reason that Lindsey has lent her firm’s support to Million Women Mentors, a nationwide movement that is designed to mobilize a million STEM mentors to encourage and guide girls and young women into STEM careers.

As of late January, the movement — led by STEMconnector, a consortium of companies, nonprofits, universities and others concerned with STEM education — has secured pledges from over 173,000 STEM mentors, according to its website, although organizers say the actual number is higher and growing by the day.

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Source: Diverse Education | Jamaal Abdul-Alim

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