by Dana Givens
According to a 2015 survey, Black and Latina women workers represent 4% of the total workforce. Now, numerous organizations are coming together to help influence more women and young girls to get into the STEM field. The Intel Foundation alongside the STEM Next Opportunity Fund, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to create The Million Girls Moonshot initiative. The collaboration will work with partners to help engage girls from underrepresented communities in STEM.
“Over its 30-year history, the Intel Foundation has a legacy of leveraging the best of Intel – our technology, philanthropy, and employee expertise – to catalyze positive social change. STEM education has been at the core of our areas of impact since we began this critical work,” said Pia Wilson-Body, President of the Intel Foundation, in an interview with BLACK ENTERPRISE via email.
“We joined the STEM Next Opportunity Fund, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation in the launch of the Million Girls Moonshot because we understand how important it is to close the gender gap and increase racial diversity in STEM fields – particularly in engineering and computer sciences.”
The new initiative aims to promote socio-economic, gender, and racial diversity in the STEM field to engage one million girls through afterschool programs and mentorship by exposing girls to STEM at an early age.
“We believe that all girls have the amazing potential to change the world when they have access to high-quality education and technology skills that prepare them to become scientists, engineers, inventors, and entrepreneurs,” she added.” “The Million Girls Moonshot will inspire girls to explore, create new paths, and follow their dreams in science, technology, and engineering fields.”
Wilson-Body went on to say that with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing the world to go virtual, these types of programs and initiatives are more important now more than ever. “Right now, the pandemic is deepening the digital divide and disproportionately hindering learning opportunities for girls of color. It is more important now than ever to engage girls and youth in underinvested communities in high-quality STEM education to close the gap and provide them with opportunities to engage in STEM programs,” she said.
“The Million Girls Moonshot is unique in its scale and collaborative approach. By bringing together a wide range of cross-sector partners and working with the afterschool networks in each state, it has the potential to reach 10 million youth and 100,000 afterschool learning programs across the country. The Million Girls Moonshot takes a collective impact approach that has the potential to move the needle to change disparities girls face and create broad positive outcomes. That is why this Initiative is so necessary.”