Introducing Generation Girl
There is a lot of talk about women being underrepresented in technology—and it’s true. While women make up half of the total U.S. college-educated workforce, only one quarter of the science and engineering workforce is female. This lack of female representation in STEM-related careers has garnered a lot of attention, and rightly so, but what we often overlook is the fact that women are underrepresented in a variety of fields, from politics to law to finance and more—with gender disparity even more pronounced in leadership positions.
At Applied Materials, we believe that all children, regardless of gender, race or income level, should be able to pursue their dreams. Yet we know not everyone has the same access to opportunity. Girls begin facing barriers to their future success very early in life. Society pressures them to conform to gender stereotypes starting in childhood—from the activities they participate in to the ways they dress or express themselves. Compound that with the fact that girls, especially those from marginalized communities, often do not have access to the resources they need to reach their potential, and the hurdles can feel insurmountable.
We’re hoping to change that. Through Generation Girl, the Applied Materials Foundation is engaging with nonprofit organizations around the country to help girls gain the confidence, skills and opportunities they need to succeed in any path they choose. This year, our grantees are working on a variety of projects, including:
- Addressing subconscious biases in the classroom through gender equity-focused teacher training and in-class student activities,
- Ensuring girls from all backgrounds have access to high-quality programs by launching new efforts in underserved areas and building the capacity of existing providers to serve more girls from low-income backgrounds, and
- Increasing exposure to positive female role models by facilitating introductions between our employees and girls and young women in the communities where we work and live.
As a result of efforts like this, we hope girls will have the confidence not only to explore topics of interest, but ultimately, to pursue a career in whatever field they choose. It’s up to all of us to take action and stand up for today’s generation of young women.
The challenge is great. The time is now. We hope you’ll join us.
Generation Girl is an initiative of the Applied Materials Foundation focused on inspiring girls to pursue their dreams. Learn more at http://www.appliedmaterials.com/company/corporate-responsibility/generation-girl.