Member Monday: Sparking Interest in STEM!

Women hold less than 28% of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) jobs in the United States, but make up more than 47% of the U.S. workforce. We look to girls and women, then, to become part of the 1 million new STEM professionals needed in the workforce by 2025.

Girl Scouts is an integral part of this mission and has pledged to add 2.5 million girls to the STEM pipeline in the next five years. At Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana, we are committed to motivating a new generation of young women and girls to explore future careers in STEM.

West Monroe Partners is one of the visionary companies we have partnered with to spark an interest in STEM for girls in our council, culminating in two Spark Day programs earlier this month!

Continue reading to meet Carrie Camino, Director of Operations Excellence and co-chair of the West Monroe-GCNWI partnership, and learn all about the Spark Day initiative.

Girls of Tomorrow

For the first-ever virtual Spark Day with GCNWI, Girl Scouts had the opportunity to “visit” West Monroe Partners and get an inside look at what business and technology consulting is really all about. The girls had opportunities to speak with many people in a variety of fields, from green energy and water management, cybersecurity, software development, supply chain manufacturing, and more.

They engaged in hands-on activities developed by a team of 30 professionals at West Monroe, including deconstructing the manufacturing of a pencil, and simulating a Great Cookie Hack on the Digital Cookie platform, all to get insight on what day-to-day operations look like at West Monroe Partners.

The program was a huge success, and many girls left with a renewed interest in a future career in STEM. For Carrie Camino, Joel Brock, and Jodi Bednar, the co-chairs in our West Monroe collaboration, enriching the lives of girls with the STEM perspective is essential to building the next generation of leaders.

“My personal passion is to help girls of tomorrow think about what the future could look like.”

“My personal passion,” Carrie explained, “is to help girls of tomorrow think about what the future could look like.” West Monroe Partners is a firm focused on diversity of thought and experience, “and women and girls come at problems with a very different perspective,” one that is incredibly important to the consulting process and an economic imperative to the firm.

Carrie, a Girl Scout alum and parent herself, believes that the Girl Scout program can be a major stepping-stone to an interest in STEM. “Girl Scouts provides a structure of activities and opportunities to experience things you might not be afforded in any other environment.”

Her advice for Girl Scouts looking to make the most out of the experience? “Say yes to as many opportunities as you can.” And to young women interested in pursuing a career in STEM, Carrie says, “There is so much in the environment telling you what you can or shouldn’t do. Don’t listen. You can do or be whatever you want to be.”

Thank you to Carrie Camino for sharing with us, to partnership chairs Joel Brock and Jodi Bednar and to everyone that lent their expertise and creativity to bring the activities to life, and to West Monroe Partners for collaborating with us for this fantastic Spark Day initiative! Without them, Spark Day would not have been possible.

Curiosity Never Stops!

The new frontier of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) is already here, and girls are taking the lead. The STEM Career Exploration badges for Girl Scouts in grades 2-8, funded by IF/THEN, an initiative of Lyda Hill Philanthropies, are perfect for girls interested in breaking the mold in the world of STEM. Read our blog to learn about these badges!

Looking for STEM programming? Find some on our registration website!

Become Inspired by our National Gold Award Girl Scout

National Gold Award Girl Scout Therese combined her passion for STEM and social justice into a Gold Award project that won her national recognition. Watch the video above to learn more about her story!

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