Women’s roles within STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields have prompted recent attention on training the next generation of female leaders. Outreach efforts start as young as elementary school for Girl Scouts and span through high school and college, with tailored support from schools and community organizations. Sparking an interest for young girls that turns into a career and then fostering growth within the field is the ultimate goal.
That genuine interest can lead to productive results but also mark the difference between making a living and making a life, with all the fulfillment a select career can bring.
Although women have worked in STEM fields for decades, it’s no secret they have historically been less encouraged to pursue related careers than their male counterparts. The need for more engineers and other professionals with expertise ranging from coding to construction is only set to increase. Diversifying the workforce is of mutual benefit, with the potential for well-paid careers where women can excel.
At Price Lang, we support a nuanced range of STEM professionals and this month, we’re highlighting the work of three clients focused on bringing more women into these up and coming fields. We’re happy to help support our clients foster related growth.
Girl Scouts Western Oklahoma: Girl Scouts USA is committed to helping 2.5 million more girls participate in STEM education by 2025. Camp Trivera, a camp dedicated to teaching girls through STEM, opens in the heart of Oklahoma City this month in support of that goal. The group’s STEM focus goes beyond after-school learning and badge-earning opportunities. With nearly every female astronaut having been a Girl Scout, the possibilities are endless for current participants. From space travel to medicine and more, the camp will host the next generation of female leaders following in the footsteps of Dr. Mae Jemison, the first African American woman in space and a Girl Scout alumna. A NASA-certified instructor will lead designated courses and STEM is incorporated into every aspect of learning life at the site. Shannon Evers, president and CEO of Girl Scouts Western Oklahoma, hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony Sept. 11 for the space that will also serve as an event venue for the community.
Francis Tuttle Technology Center’s Launch Pad FT: Jennifer McGrail is director of Launch Pad FT and president of the Oklahoma Business Incubator Association. She has seen firsthand the difference organizations like hers can make for entrepreneurs, many of whom are women seeking a career change or who have a business idea they seek to develop. An average of 45 percent of new businesses fail within the first five years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Members of the National Business Incubation Association, however, report that 88 percent of firms that graduate from an incubator program are still in business five years later. McGrail and her staff leverage local resources to help program participants structure a business plan, mitigate potential legal issues and set up shop. Business incubator graduates like those that McGrail helps oversee can then qualify for up to 10 years of income tax exemption through the Oklahoma Small Business Incubators Act. Donna Miller, a Launch Pad FT program graduate, co-founded Purse Power, an app that identifies companies with equitable female leadership so consumers can make informed spending decisions. Miller was among The Journal Record’s 2020 list of Oklahoma’s Most Admired CEOs & Financial Stewardship Award honorees and portion of all Purse Power proceeds is donated to shelters that help women recover from domestic violence. Launch Pad FT graduates have contributed an average of nearly $20 million each year in payroll since 2014 and the program will accept high school students as concurrent enrollees next year.
Open for Business Oklahoma and the National Society of Professional Engineers: Tricia Hatley, professional engineer, began her term as the president of the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) on Aug. 1. She will also continue in her role as principal and vice president of engineering firm Freese and Nichols’ Oklahoma operations. Freese and Nichols is a member of Open for Business Oklahoma, a business group dedicated to protecting the investments companies headquartered in other states have made in Oklahoma. In a recent interview, Hatley pointed out the essential role engineers play in public health and municipal safety. She outlined advocacy for the engineering profession and for women in leadership as goals for her tenure as NSPE president. NSPE is known as the premier professional organization for engineers, with more than 26,000 members throughout the country.
Our work at Price Lang helps clients focus on their core business, what they do best. We are proud to support women in STEM as several of our team members raise their own daughters to reach for the stars. Although more work is needed to help bridge the gender gap, our team is up for the challenge of supporting these initiatives in tangible and creative ways. Find out about Charlie Price, Emily Lang and the people behind the brand.