NEW YORK, April 24, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Although women and girls continue to be significantly underrepresented in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields, new Girl Scout research shows that it's not for lack of interest. According to the Girl Scout Research Institute study Generation STEM: What Girls Say About Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, 74 percent of teen girls are interested in STEM.
Among other Generation STEM findings is the discovery that African American and Hispanic girls, while they show a high degree of confidence and interest in STEM, and a strong work ethic, have fewer supports, less STEM exposure, and lower academic achievement than do Caucasian girls. When asked how likely they would be to seek support and information on STEM career choices from parents or guardians, 54 percent of African American and 54 percent of Hispanic girls indicate likelihood versus 70 percent of Caucasian girls. These populations are also more aware of gender barriers in STEM fields, with African American and Hispanic girls significantly more likely to agree with the statement "if I went into a career in STEM, I would worry about sexual harassment in the workplace (African American 30%, Hispanic 28%, Caucasian 19%)."
By ensuring that women and girls receive the exposure, encouragement, and support they need to enter and succeed in STEM fields, this country can benefit from the full range and diversity of its talent. To this end, on April 24, 2012, the White House Council on Women and Girls will host a White House event featuring a panel of trailblazing women in STEM fields. These women will share their experiences and encourage girls to follow in their footsteps—or to blaze trails of their own. This event will also showcase the very first public screening of Girls in STEM, a video with footage of girls who participated in the 2012 White House Science Fair, including Girl Scout team the Flying Monkeys, which invented a new type of prosthetic hand to help a little girl write for the first time. (The girls won the $20,000 FIRST LEGO League Global Innovation Award from the X Prize Foundation in April 2011; they were also granted a provisional patent.)
Also highlighted at the White House event will be a partnership between Girl Scouts of the USA and Mocha Moms, Inc.—a collaboration to provide mentor and adult volunteer support for IMAGINE Your STEM Future and other Girl Scout/STEM programs as part of Mocha Moms' "Closing the Gap in Minority Health, Prosperity and Achievement" community service initiative. Girl Scouts and Mocha Moms, Inc. are proud to unite in support of STEM programming for girls.
"America has a huge opportunity for economic growth when looking at girls' interest in science, technology, engineering and math," said Anna Maria Chavez, CEO, Girl Scouts of the USA. "It is in this country's best interest to make girls feel supported and capable when it comes to involvement in STEM fields—and anything else they set their minds to and have traditionally been steered away from."
About the Girl Scout Research Institute
The Girl Scout Research Institute, formed in 2000, is a vital extension of Girl Scouts of the USA's commitment to addressing the complex and ever-changing needs of girls. Comprised of a dedicated staff and advisors who are experts in child development, academia, government, business, and the not-for-profit sector, the institute conducts groundbreaking studies, releases critical facts and findings, and provides resources essential for the advancement of the well-being and safety of girls living in today's world. The institute also informs public policy and advocacy for Girl Scouting with its research and outreach.
About Girl Scouts of the USA
Founded in 1912, Girl Scouts of the USA is the preeminent leadership development organization for girls, with 3.2 million girl and adult members worldwide. Girl Scouts is the leading authority on girls' healthy development, and builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. The organization serves girls from every corner of the United States and its territories. Girl Scouts of the USA also serves American girls and their classmates attending American or international schools overseas in 90 countries. For more information on how to join, volunteer or reconnect with, or donate to Girl Scouts, call 800-GSUSA-4-U or visit www.girlscouts.org.
About Mocha Moms
Mocha Moms, Inc. was founded in 1997 by four mothers of color in Maryland who saw the need for a growing segment of stay at home mothers of color to connect and support each other. Today, the national, non-profit organization has 100 chapters and more than 3,000 members in 29 states throughout the country, as well as partnerships with such organizations as the America's Promise Alliance, the Black Women's Health Imperative, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Be The Match and Donate Life America. The primary mission of Mocha Moms, Inc. is to support and encourage women of color who are making parenting a priority in this season in their lives. Its platform includes strengthening marriages and families, promoting self-care, strong educational foundations and volunteerism. Mocha Moms, Inc. welcomes people of all genders, religions, races, educational backgrounds, and income levels. Anyone who supports the mission of Mocha Moms, Inc. is welcome to join. Mocha Moms, Inc. has been featured on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, ABC's Nightline, Good Morning America and The Oprah Winfrey Show, as well as in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Essence, Ebony and JET.
SOURCE Girl Scouts of the USA