Inspiring the Next Generation of Women in Tech: Cisco Kicks Off Global STEM Mentoring Initiative
From the STEM Education Caucus, to the US Joint Economic Committee’s report on STEM education, to White House STEM Fairs, encouraging students on the path to careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math is a topic that politicians from both sides of the aisle have championed. At Cisco, we take our part in promoting STEM education very seriously.
Just how seriously? Yesterday, Cisco kicked off Girls Power Tech, a global mentoring initiative — in conjunction with the 6th annual United Nation’s International Girls in ICT Day. Day-long learning events took place at 105 Cisco offices in 61 countries around the world, beginning on April 28 through May 19.
These events will empower and inspire students to pursue careers in information and communication technologies (ICT) through exposure to the Internet of Things, Cisco technology and mentoring by Cisco employees.
In our Washington D.C. Office, we were thrilled to host Aisha Bowe, CEO of STEMBoard, who presented via Telepresence to 150 girls gathered at Cisco facilities up and down the east coast and in Ottawa. Aisha has had a distinguished engineering career, first at NASA where she designed and built scientific satellites, and more recently at her own company, which provides engineering services to a wide range of customers, including major US government agencies.
Through the video conference, the girls “leaned in” as she told them what kind of satellites she designed, what it is like to be an engineer, and showed them how technology affects almost everything they do in their lives- from the apps they use, to the fashion they wear, to the future technologies she said she hoped they would invent in the future.
She encouraged the girls to vocalize their career interests and identify mentors. Aisha said, “ I wanted to make sure the girls knew that they have the power to start a movement even now while they are in middle and high school to leverage their experiences and innovate.”
Over 4,000 young women from all around the world will be coming to a Cisco campus over the next few weeks to learn about technology and engage with over 2,000 Cisco employee volunteers with one single goal in mind – inspiring them to see the possibilities that a career in IT can offer.