It is no secret that Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, or STEM, is integral to the success of the State of Arkansas and the nation. With women making up more than half the workforce, they account for less than 25% of STEM jobs . Between 2010 and 2020, STEM-related employment is projected to increase by 16% to more than 8.5 million jobs. And as early as 2018, the nation faces a skills shortage of 230,000 STEM employees . The most startling statistic –– only 4% of 368,000 girls who plan to pursue STEM said a mentor encouraged them .
Walmart, in partnership with Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, are leading the initiative for the state of Arkansas to change the trend through the Million Women Mentors (MWM) program. A special event to launch the initiative will be held Tuesday, July 12 at 10:00 a.m. in the STEM Building on UAPB’s campus. The event is free and open to the public.
“We are pleased to join Lt. Governor Tim Griffin and Walmart in presenting the Million Women Mentors (MWM) Launch in the Arkansas Delta,” UAPB Chancellor Dr. Laurence B. Alexander said. “This nation – wide initiative will help to increase the interest in and preparation of girls and young women for STEM careers. The MWM framework can help to address the underrepresentation of women in STEM careers as well as the need for more scientists to help ensure U.S. global competitiveness.”
“I believe our role as leaders in our communities and for our company is to support students and young professionals by providing mentors and preparing them for future career opportunities,” said Andrea Roberts, Sr. Manager of STEM Strategy for Walmart Leverage Human Resources.
With a State goal of pledging 5,000 mentors, the program will support the engagement of one million Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) mentors (male and female) to increase the interest and confidence of girls and young women to persist and succeed in STEM programs and careers. MWM is an initiative of STEMconnector in collaboration with over 60 national partners, 45 corporate sponsors, and 35 state teams.
“Today, women make up only twenty-four percent of our nation’s STEM workforce,” Lieutenant Governor Griffin said. “I am proud to support the work of Million Women Mentors as it seeks to increase student interest in STEM education and careers among our state’s young women, and I will continue to help Million Women Mentors expand all over Arkansas.”
For more information about the MWM program at UAPB, please contact Allyson Jackson at (870) 575-8878 or Tisha Arnold at (870) 575-8946.
- “Women in STEM: Realizing the Potential.” STEMConnector, 2014. Web. 14 March. 2014. https://www.millionwomenmentors.org/sites/default/files/resources/Women_in_STEM_-_Realizing_the_Potential.pdf
- “Why Corporate Mentoring? Five Benefits of a Workplace Mentoring Program.” Chronus, 2015. Web. 29 Sept. 2015. http://chronus.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Five-Benefits-of-a-Workplace-Mentoring-Program-02262015.pdf.