Although women fill close to half of all jobs in the U.S. economy, they hold less than 25 percent of jobs in science, technology, engineering & mathematics (STEM). To help address these statistics, the American Heart Association partnered with Shelby County Schools to host its first local “STEM Goes Red” event on Wednesday, Nov. 16 at the Shelby County Instructional Services Center.
STEM Goes Red, locally sponsored by Regions, engaged nearly 200 middle- and high-school girls from Shelby County schools as they explored STEM through hands-on activities and educational sessions led by local women in STEM careers.
“Since heart disease continues to be the number one killer of women, ensuring more women are at the forefront of developing science, technology, education and math (STEM) solutions has never been more critical,” said Lizzi Willicott, Executive Director of the American Heart Association in Birmingham. “STEM is our future and as a science-based, health non-profit, STEM is at the heart of who we are and what we do.”
As an extension of the Go Red for Women movement, STEM Goes Red aims to prepare female students for the nearly eight million science, technology, engineering, and math jobs available worldwide. Not only are American students generally unprepared to fill these roles, but just three in 100 female undergraduate students also continue to work in STEM fields after graduating. Innovation and big thinking require young, emerging students – both men and women – who are committed to making change happen.
As part of the event, the American Heart Association invited several females working in various STEM careers in the Birmingham area to speak to the students. Dr. Nicole Lohr and Dr. Garima Arora, cardiologists with UAB Medicine, were guest speakers for the Science component of the day.
Jewel Taylor, from same-day delivery company Shipt, shared with the students how her company relies on Technology to serve their customers. Carey Holland and Mingyawna Satterwhite, engineers with Southern Company, shared information with students about engineering, while Keren Treme with Regions shared how math is used in the banking industry.
“District leaders appreciate the American Heart Association, CVSHealth, Regions Bank and Southern Company for investing in the young ladies in Shelby County Schools by providing an opportunity to learn more about STEM related careers,” said Deputy Superintendent, Dr. Lynn Caroll. “We know our students will do great things!”