Girl Scouts Change Perception of Females in STEM during CES

To learn more about Girl Scouts in STEM, visit girlscouts.org/STEM. (PRNewsFoto/Girl Scouts of the USA)

PRNewsFoto/Girl Scouts of the USA

It looks as though Girl Scouts is tackling tech industry gender diversity head on.  During this week’s International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, girls from two councils (Girl Scouts of Northern California and Girl Scouts of Southern Nevada) will be there to not only demonstrate Digital Cookie 2.0, but they are using their presence at CES as call-to-action for attendees, exhibitors, and press to support girls in STEM. Though gender imbalance at CES has been a hot topic in recent years, Girl Scouts is focused on addressing gender barriers that start during childhood in order to empower the next generation of females in STEM.

“Only 24% of women work in STEM-related fields,” said Sheila Narayanan, Girl Scouts of the USA’s chief digital girl experience officer. “In fact, by 2018, the United States will have 1.2 million unfilled STEM jobs due to a lack of qualified workers and, though most girls love hands-on science and solving problems, very few girls see a STEM job in their future. Knowledge like this informs our programming at Girl Scouts. As we’ve shown with Digital Cookie, we are working to infuse STEM into all of our programming, to help girls connect the experience to their everyday lives. It is important to have a Girl Scout presence at CES—it’s a vital step in not only changing the perception of females in STEM, but also in inspiring people in related fields to help girls imagine a future in STEM.”

For the first time, Girl Scouts will host a Girls’ STEM Summit, partly in collaboration with The Girls’ Lounge, a go-to destination for women at industry conferences, on January 6, 2016 (this summit is not directly affiliated with CES). Twenty-five Girl Scouts will participate in the summit, giving them the unique opportunity to interact with top brands and innovators in STEM through a floor tour of CES, empowering conversations with influencers, and a behind-the-scenes look at the world’s largest consumer technology show. Girls will learn from experts what the hot trends are, see real-life examples of all the ways STEM influences our world, and explore the variety of career opportunities in STEM.

“A key initiative for The Girls’ Lounge is to connect today’s and tomorrow’s leaders,” said Shelley Zalis, Founder and CEO of The Girls’ Lounge. “Our collaboration with the Girl Scouts at CES will bring together some of the brightest minds in STEM. The importance of STEM for today’s girls and future leaders is paramount to their success later in life, and we’re proud to play a part in showing girls that anything is possible.”

A Girl Scout Research Institute (GSRI) study uncovered that 73% of girls are interested in STEM-related fields. But without keeping them engaged and showing them future opportunities, girls are more likely to “drop out” for other careers when they get to college. In addition, the study shows about half of all girls feel that STEM isn’t a typical career path for girls, and 57% of girls say that if they went into a STEM career, they’d have to work harder than a man just to be taken seriously.

“We are so excited to be back at the world’s largest consumer electronics show with some of our best and brightest Girl Scouts to show off all our organization does in the world of STEM,” said Anna Maria Chávez, CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA. “Girl Scouts was a trailblazer in acquainting girls with the world of STEM, offering STEM badges since 1913, and many notable alumnae are high achievers in STEM fields. Now we are bringing the next generation of innovators to CES, exposing them to the newest big things in the world of tech, and further cementing women, girls, and the Girl Scouts as leaders in STEM.”

Headed to CES?  Be sure to stop by the Girl Scouts Girls’ STEM HQ booth (Booth #74760)!