Generation Girl Turns One!

As we celebrate International Women’s Day this weekend, we’re excited to share a recap of year one of the Applied Materials Foundation’s Generation GirlTM initiative. 

Generation Girl is guided by the belief that if we help girls break down barriers today, our workplaces will be more vibrant, equitable and effective in the future. 

We began the work by funding 20 nonprofit organizations serving girls in three of Applied’s key geographies: Silicon Valley, CA; Austin, TX; and Gloucester, MA. The organizations focus on programs that build up girls’ confidence and leadership skills, bolster the strength of girl-serving organizations, and ensure all girls, regardless of background, have the opportunity to learn about careers where women are traditionally underrepresented, including science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

According to our external evaluation led by Learning for Action, between August 2018 – September 2019, the programs we funded reached over 11,000 girls. As a result of participating in the programs we funded:

  1. Girls became more confident in themselves and their abilities to achieve their goals.
  2. Girls explored STEM, deepened their understanding of STEM’s connection to their life, and increased their awareness of STEM careers.
  3. Organizations received training and professional development to increase their capacity to provide high-quality, gender-equitable programs to girls.

We’re excited to see these types of outcomes in year one, but we know it takes more than awarding a grant to fight the biases and stereotypes that hinder the success of girls in our communities. So, on a quarterly basis, we also invited grantee organizations to our offices to celebrate their wins and brainstorm solutions to their challenges, meet new colleagues and strengthen existing relationships, and dive deep on best practices including measurement and evaluation strategies. 

We believe these convenings were key to the positive experiences reported by grantees in our program evaluation. As one organization shared, “Applied is doing an awesome job in managing to bring the right people to the table.”

We have also prioritized building bridges between our employees and girls served by our grantees to spark real change. It is critical that we engage our employees in this work, so that they become gender equity allies at home, in the community and in the workplace. In 2019, we held three employee sessions focused on the power of language, the impact of gender bias and how to be a stellar volunteer for girls. In the same calendar year, we saw employees volunteer at more than a dozen community events, ensuring that girls of all backgrounds meet female role models and male allies from the technology sector. 

As we move into year two of the program, we are focused on building upon the successes of the initiatives in year one. We are doubling down on our work to support the field of girl-serving organizations, engaging organizations like E3 Alliance and Alliance for Girls in research and network mapping to help our network of nonprofits better understand the demographics of girls in Central Texas and the ecosystem of organizations focused on serving girls in Silicon Valley. We have also expanded the initiative to three more geographies in North America, adding Montana, Oregon and New York in addition to continued programming in Austin, Silicon Valley and Gloucester (you can view the full list of our 2019 – 20 grantee organizations here). 

Our employee workshops and volunteer activities are already up and running, with workshops and volunteer opportunities underway in Austin and Silicon Valley, and volunteer activity planning occurring in the other four sites. 

While we are proud of what Generation Girl has accomplished in the last 12 months, we still have so much to learn. We invite you to join us on that journey—by reaching out to share your experiences, engaging with us on social media @Applied4Good and, maybe most importantly, acting as an advocate for gender equity in your daily life. In the words of the United Nations as we celebrate International Women’s Day, “individually, we're all responsible for our own thoughts and actions—all day, every day.” How will you join us to be #EachForEqual?

Learn more about the Generation Girl initiative, and follow us on Twitter: @Applied4Good.

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