Business Women’s Giving Circle Target Much Needed STEM programs for Girls

There is a notable absence of women in the tech industry. While women make up roughly half of U.S. workers, on average they represent less than a third of tech professionals. According to research from Accenture and Girls Who Code, the gender gap in computing jobs has widened over the last 30 years, despite increasing opportunities in computer science fields.

According to the study, interest in computing and technology peaks for middle school aged girls and begins declining as they enter high school. In addition, even though many high-school girls outperform their male counterparts in math and science, boys are more likely to take the standardized subject tests that lead to a college major in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects.

Source: www. Accenture.com

 

Identifying the root cause of this shift in interest and gender gap is complicated and could be related to many different factors including: lack of peer collaboration, gender bias, stereotypes, lack of confidence and lack of computer classes.

One way to help close this gap is to make computer science more appealing to girls.  This is where the Business Women’s Giving Circle (BWGC) is making an impact.

Launched in 2014 by the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia, the Business Women’s Giving Circle (“BWGC”) brings together accomplished women who support programs that help to promote innovation, entrepreneurship, leadership and inventive opportunities for girls and young women.

Since its founding, BWGC has awarded in excess of $125,000 in grants, touching the lives of more than 1,300 young women in Northern Virginia.

 

Here are a few of BWGC’s recent grant recipients:

SHINE For Girls received $15,000 to help provide innovative, curriculum-based after-school programming for 5th – 8th grade girls from disadvantaged backgrounds in Northern Virginia.  Utilizing kinesthetic learning, SHINE combines formal dance training with rigorous math instruction to improve girls’ math and confidence scores and spark their interest in STEM.

The Hillsboro Charter Academy received $5,000 to help launch Girls in G.E.A.R. (Guiding Engineering, Aerospace, and Robotics), an exploratory after-school STEAM program where girls become role models and guides to teach all 125 students (K-5) about engineering, aerospace and robotics through hands on lessons and real world application using technology tools.

STEAMd YOUniversity Girls received $10,000 to support a ten-week after school enrichment program in Loudoun County designed to create awareness and excitement as well as educate and inspire girls (grade 3-12), about the vast array of education and career opportunities available to women in science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM).

At Madison Wealth Management, we are pleased to help support BWGC’s ongoing efforts to encourage girls to enter the technology industry. Our own Rebecca McDermott is the latest member of BWGC.

Madison invites you to learn more about the Business Women’s Giving Circle here:  http://www.cfnova.org/our-programs/business-women-s-giving-circle

You are also invited to attend BWGC’s latest educational seminar – Success Through Effective Communication – to be held on September 6th from 6 to 8 pm in Vienna, Virginia. Krista Woods, inventor of GloveStix is the featured speaker.  To learn more about the event or register, please visit: https://www.cfnova.org/register/bwgc-success-through-effective-communication/event

Finally, BWGC’s grant applications are now available online HERE. Deadline for submission is September 26, 2017.

 

“Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.”

               – Abigail Adams in a letter to John Quincy Adams, 1780