GAITHERSBURG, Md., April 28, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Sodexo, world leader in Quality of Life Services, joined industry thought leaders at the Global STEM Talent Summit today at the Gallup World Headquarters in Washington, D.C. to stimulate action for filling millions of skilled jobs. Led by STEMconnector®, the Summit is the first step in this private sector initiative to tackle the STEM talent gap.
"The Global STEM Talent Summit is a major industry-led step in seeking to solve the STEM talent gap that exists in the U.S. and in many other parts of the world," said Dr. Heidi Kleinbach-Sauter, senior vice president of R&D, PepsiCo and chairwoman of the Global STEM Talent Summit. "It is now critical for the private sector to convene and create an actionable plan to develop at scale solutions to future proof economic growth."
The day-long event served as a platform for discussion, sharing best practices in STEM talent development strategies, networking and taking collective action to drive scale and speed in helping to solve for the STEM shortfall. Together with its 25 strategic partners, STEMconnector® will outline a three-year strategic roadmap that aims to drive sustainable impact and deliver tangible solutions to diminish the STEM talent gap in the US.
"Business leaders have set the tone by ramping up investments and engagement in STEM education in order to prepare the next generation of skilled talent necessary to drive innovation and economic growth," said Edie Fraser, CEO, STEMconnector®. "Now we need to shift our focus of turning investments in education into a sustainable, long-term talent pool."
In a panel session on global talent development with Johnson & Johnson, Deloitte, Pinnacle Group, DLR Group and moderated by Financial Times editor Sam Fleming, Michael Norris, CEO Healthcare, Sodexo North America noted the critical importance of attending to the basics. "If we are serious about developing a diverse pipeline of STEM talent we need to begin with the essentials. Think about it, four of the country's five largest public school systems are broke. One in five kids in the country are at risk of hunger and far too many parents see their child's walk to school as potentially life threatening. I'm convinced that if we can take care of the basics, we can attract a broader swath of STEM talent."
Over the past decade, growth in STEM jobs was three times greater than that of non-STEM jobs, according to Texas State University. Developing and retaining high-skilled STEM workers is crucial for employers. At the 2016 Global STEM Talent Summit, employers shared professional short and long- term STEM talent development models and best practices for training their employees and retaining high-skilled STEM talent.
Multiple industries, each with their own unique challenges, were represented at the event. According to The World Health Organization the world is short by more than seven million doctors, nurses, and others who administer care, and this will grow to 12.9 million healthcare workers by 2035. Symantec noted that six million cybersecurity jobs will be created by 2019, and 1.5 million of those jobs will go unfilled by 2024.
The 2016 STEMconnector® strategic partners include Apollo Education Group, APCO Worldwide, AT&T, BAE Systems, BP, Burning Glass, Carnival Corporation, Cengage Learning, Centene Corporation, Cigna, Dassault Systems, Deloitte, FedEx, Gallup, Honeywell, Hope Street Group, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, Monsanto, Monster, PepsiCo, Smiths Group, Sodexo, Tata Consultancy Services, and Walmart.
Announcing the 100 CEO Leaders in STEM
At the Global STEM Talent Summit STEMconnector® also released 100 CEO Leaders in STEM, a publication that highlights the exceptional leaders contributing to the advancement of STEM careers around the world. The publication showcases the commitment, initiatives and values of 100 CEOs actively working towards a strong talent pipeline, and their companies. Excerpts include:
"The formula for innovation and growth in today's digital economy begins and ends with a workforce that has the right skills….businesses that fail to invest the time and resources to train, attract and retain the best talent will be left behind." Randall L Stephenson, Chairman and CEO, AT&T
"The technological reality is a call to companies to think boldly and pragmatically to solve complex problems…. It's doubling our investment in innovation in the next three years so we can help companies shape next-generation capabilities and solutions." Cathy Engelbert, CEO, Deloitte LLP
"Careers in STEM industries offer better compensation and more career advancement opportunities….Everyone benefits when our girls and young women can make full use of their abilities and supporting STEM Mentoring is a clear win-win." Lorna Donatone, CEO of Sodexo School Worldwide and President of Sodexo North America.
Sodexo delivers more than 100 services across North America that enhance organizational performance, contribute to local communities and improve quality of life. The global Fortune 500 company is a leader in delivering sustainable, integrated facilities management and foodservice operations.
Learn more about the company at its corporate blog, Sodexo Insights.