A new survey conducted by the Exelon Foundation and HeForShe, an initiative of UN Women launched in 2014, finds that only 50 percent of young women are optimistic about the future of women in STEM-related careers.
To encourage more young women to pursue a career in a science, technology, engineering, or math-related field, HeForShe and Exelon, a Chicago-based energy company, have launched the STEM Innovation Leadership Academy for teenage girls. Part of Exelon's three-year, $3 million commitment to HeForShe, the immersive weeklong academy will bring together fifty young women between the ages of 16 and 19 for interactive experiences, field trips, and conversations with leaders in STEM fields, including one-on-one mentorship opportunities with Exelon executives and other Chicago-area leaders.
In 2017, Exelon contributed a total of $10.3 million to education-related causes. In addition to the company's investment in STEM programs for young women and girls, its partnership with HeForShe also includes a commitment to improve the company's retention of women by 2020, with the goal of reaching parity in voluntary turnover of men and women professionals.
"By creating opportunities for young women to learn about and pursue STEM-related careers, we are nurturing the next generation of leaders," said Exelon president and CEO Chris Crane. "Initiatives such as the STEM Innovation Leadership Academy empower female students through education and mentorship, enhance our workforce through diversity and equality, and ultimately foster fundamental change and a brighter future for all."
(Photo credit: GettyImages – svetikd)