Keeping focus on gender diversity in technology
Gender diversity in the workplace – especially in the technology industry – continues to be a central focus for Ericsson, and our commitment to having at least a 30 percent female employee demographic by 2020 holds steady. We are also committed to supporting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal #4: Quality Education, particularly through our Connect to Learn program. Elaine Weidman-Grunewald, our Chief Sustainability Officer, recently reflected on the impacts of quality education for girls – including better STEM programs – here on the Technology for Good blog. One part of our efforts to honor our 2020 commitment is our work with the Girl Scouts of the USA to help develop female STEM (science, technology and math) leaders.
Tomorrow’s scientists are today’s Girl Scouts
Girl Scouts of the USA is an organization that is filling a huge gap when it comes to providing girls with STEM resources and opportunities. To demonstrate this the national Girl Scouts organization has released 23 new STEM focused badges that encourage girls to learn to code, design robots, build racecars and collect data in nature. But badges are just the beginning, girls today will become more aware of what a future in STEM looks like and will be empowered to experiment with STEM while enjoying the camaraderie of the traditional Girl Scouts’ experience.
To further support the advancement of girls in STEM, the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas has taken particular interest by transforming their Camp Whispering Cedars facility into a dedicated STEM center complete with opportunities in robotics, coding, botany, chemistry and more. By combining the girl experience with the traditional camp experience, Girl Scouts has created a recipe for success to build a pipeline of women in STEM. So far 86% of the girls who have attended the camp say they’re more interested in STEM. Check out this video to find out more: https://youtu.be/oY08aUGTOTY
Supporting the Girl Scouts with technology and consulting
Earlier this year Ericsson met with leaders from the Northeast Texas council and discussed ways to improve the STEM experience at the 92-acre camp located near downtown Dallas. After several meetings, a decision was made to help build the fiber network and infrastructure. With our help, each building will now have Wi-Fi and the entire camp will be setup as a managed network. After many more meetings Ericsson realized that there was an even greater need in helping to develop the Girls Scouts STEM curriculum, digitize volunteer on-boarding activities, and cloud-ify processes.
Ericsson’s engagement with Girl Scouts does not end with the camp experience: we are also working with the organization to provide girls with opportunities for job shadowing and tech camps, and the possibility to attend the Grace Hopper Celebration.
Supporting the Girl Scouts with events
Job Shadowing Day and Technology Camp are two of the events Ericsson hosts for Girl Scouts at our North American headquarters in Plano, Texas. This week, Ericsson is sponsoring two Girl Scout graduates – both pursuing university engineering degrees – to attend the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computer Science.
The Grace Hopper Celebration is the largest gathering of female technologists in the world, designed to bring together women in computing to discuss research and career interests. This is our fourth year sponsoring the event, and it is a top venue for us to connect and engage with women in technology-related fields. Ericsson is hosting an interactive booth on site where visitors can utilize our green screen prepped with digital images to help them picture themselves in a world connected by Ericsson.
Can’t be at the conference? The Girl Scouts graduates will be taking over the @ericssoncareers account on Instagram. Check it out!
Written by: Nelly Andresen, Head of Sustainability & Corporate Responsibility, North America