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The STEM Gender Gap & Supporting Girls in STEM

By July 24, 2020September 10th, 2020No Comments

Dr. Yadilette Rivera-Colón, Vice Chair of Girls Inc. of the Valley’s Board of Directors, has been featured by 1 Million Women in STEM (1MWIS) in their new campaign. 1MWIS recently launched The Biggest Global Women in STEM, a global campaign of 1 million stories celebrating the experiences of women in STEM.

1MWIS recognizes that real women are the most influential role models for driving girls’ interest in STEM. They’ve featured Dr. Yadilette Rivera-Colón, Vice Chair of Girls Inc. of the Valley’s Board of Directors, highlighting her involvement in the community with science education, hands-on research, and community outreach. Dr. Rivera-Colón is also an Assistant Professor of Biology and Undergraduate Science Program Research Coordinator at Bay Path University. As a researcher, she leads a team of undergraduate students to understand the molecular basis of enzymes at work. She also oversees all undergraduate research done in her department. As a community leader, she brings science out of the lab into middle school classrooms with a special focus in empowering young girls who are interested in STEM.

The lack of visible, female role models is one of the key factors influencing girls’ choice to pursue or stay in STEM education and careers. 51% of girls with role models can imagine a future career in STEM. 1MWIS and Girls Inc. of the Valley continue to make a positive impact on the community with the help of influential and passionate leaders like Dr. Rivera-Colón. Girls Inc. of the Valley will be offering educational online workshops for their Eureka! summer 2020 program, with support from leading business owners and leaders from the Western Massachusetts community. Eureka!, a five-year journey for teenage girls, prepares them to participate and excel in cutting-edge, dynamic STEM careers. Bay Path University will be offering an online course, Women as Empowered Learners and Leaders, for Girls Inc. of the Valley’s oldest scholars. This course will help the girls prepare for college and the next steps in their education.

“You will fail more times than you will succeed but those times you do, are all worth it,” said Yadilette Rivera-Colón. “I teach at an all-women’s college at the undergraduate level and I see many young women who will take over the world.”

The need for qualified science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) professionals in our workforce continues to grow and women – particularly women of color – continue to be underrepresented in these fields. By celebrating the experiences of women in STEM, 1MWIS aims to increase accessibility, celebrate diversity and show our girls their aspirations are achievable and dreams, attainable. Girls Inc. of the Valley and 1MWIS, fight for a future where girls are not stereotyped, where opportunities exist for them to prepare for interesting work and become economically independent.