In an effort to offset the so-called “girl-gap” in entrepreneurship and STEM fields – science, technology, engineering and math – Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart, Princeton, will host a leadership conference 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 8 for girls in kindergarten through high school.
“#LEADLIKEAGIRL: A Conference for Risk-Takers and Changemakers” will be offered free of charge, and aims to address the gender gap for women-owned businesses.
“At Stuart, we know that it’s crucial to educate young women to know that they are powerful, they can affect change, and their voices are just as important – particularly in male-dominated arenas,” said Dr. Patty Fagin, Stuart’s head of school.
Data from the 2012 census revealed that women own just 36 percent of privately-owned businesses, and that these are smaller, less profitable and more short-lived than their male-owned counterparts. Similar statistics were gathered in STEM fields: a 2016 National Science Foundation report showed that women make up half the total U.S. college-educated workforce, but only 29 percent of the science and engineering workforce.
Presented by the Stuart Center for Girls’ Leadership, the conference will feature two notable speakers: Dr. Ellen Stofan, chief scientist at NASA, and Debbie Sterling, founder and CEO of GoldieBlox. Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in two leadership tracks: Entrepreneurship and STEM. Sessions will include the keynote speakers, a Business Fair, STEM Talks, workshops and expert panel discussions.
Dr. Stofan is the chief scientist at NASA, serving as principal advisor to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden on the agency’s science programs and science-related strategic planning and investments. Prior to her appointment, Dr. Stofan was vice president of Proxemy Research in Laytonsville, Md., and honorary professor in the department of earth sciences at University College London, England. Previously, she held a number of senior scientist positions at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif..
Dr. Stofan holds master and doctorate degrees in geological sciences from Brown University and a bachelor’s degree from the College of William and Mary.
Sterling is founder and CEO of GoldieBlox, the award-winning children’s multimedia company globally challenging gender stereotypes with the world’s first girl engineer character. She was named TIME’s “Person of the Moment,” honored by the National Retail Foundation as one of 25 “People Shaping Retail’s Future,” and was recently added to Fortune Magazine’s prestigious “40 Under 40” list.
In 2015, Sterling was inducted as a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship and honored by the National Women’s History Museum with a “Living Legacy” Award for her work to empower girls around the world. Sterling received her degree in engineering from Stanford University in 2005.
Additionally, $8,000 in cash prizes will be awarded during the conference to high school students. Proposals are currently being sought from young women in high school and educators for participation in the Business Fair, STEM Talks, workshops and presentations. High school students whose proposals are accepted for the conference may compete for $8,000 in cash prizes. Prizes will be awarded for business plans at the Business Fair and research projects presented in the STEM Talks. Proposals for all sessions must be submitted by Jan. 15.
For more conference information, visit www.stuartschool.org/leadlikeagirl. [[In-content Ad]]