The Girls in STEM initiative, led by Columbia University, is coming to Miami. The program, launched by Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies, is in its second year and will be taking place in 4 cities across the nation including San Francisco, Washington D.C., New York City and Miami. The program aims to address the gender gap seen in STEM fields and encourage underrepresented high school students to consider entering a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) field.
“Improving the access to, and quality of, STEM education is the key to increasing equality and a competitive edge in one of the most important business sectors for the future,” says Jason Wingard, Dean of the School of Professional Studies.
The program helps support students by providing hands-on instruction in STEM fields as well as connecting them with mentors and the resources needed to help participants prepare for pursuing STEM in college. All selected students receive a scholarship to attend.
Selected tech leaders in each market have been invited to share how they overcame challenges, their current work and career path that led to their success in the STEM field. Participants will share their stories and encourage more women to enter the field. The CEO of PROTECH, Deborah Vazquez, was invited due to her unique career path starting as a software developer, then becoming a global software executive before launching her own technology recruiting firm almost 20 years ago. She will share advice on the importance of career planning and discuss tech career disciplines that are trending to be in high demand and low talent supply.
“I’m honored to be a speaker at Columbia University’s STEM initiative. I’m pleased to see that Miami is one of the four cities selected for this important event. A critical underpinning of the global economy is technology; it’s a fundamental part of every organization’s business model. Diversity is key for companies to be competitive. For America to continue to lead in the global economy, it’s more important than ever to have programs like this to encourage and support women to participate in STEM programs,” said Deborah Vazquez.
Follow the program on Twitter with hashtag: #CUgirlsinSTEM
Learn more about the initiative here: http://sps.columbia.edu/girls-in-stem