A keynote at the Embedded Linux Conference Europe described Greenlight for Girls, which aims to give girls around the world the opportunity to love STEM.
There is growing anxiety within tech companies about the lack of skilled professionals to keep up with demand. There’s also a realization that one of the largest untapped resources is women. A keynote at the recent Embedded Linux Conference Europe in Berlin described a potential solution to the challenge called Greenlight for Girls, a non-profit organization with a mission to provide girls around the world with the opportunity to love STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math).
The problem is that many girls who have a natural talent for STEM are often steered elsewhere by teachers, parents, peers, and stereotypes reinforced by the media. A recent National Science Foundation report claimed that more than twice as many U.S. men than women attend graduate school in computer science, and more than four times as many men are enrolled in engineering. While gender discrimination continues to be a problem in hiring, a greater challenge is that relatively few girls get hooked on STEM at an early age and then stick with it.
At ELCE, Greenlight for Girls project founder Melissa Rancourt and International Project Manager Jelena Lucin explained how their organization sponsors hands-on STEM workshops and events for girls around the world, often led by role-model volunteers from industry.
Rancourt has been a computer engineer for 20 years. “I love everything about it, from programming to all the science and math behind it, so I’m constantly amazed that not everybody gets how fabulous this is,”
including full presentation: ELCE Keynote: Breaking Barriers, Creatively and Courageously