Women In Tech & Science Programs

Innovation demands diversity. We are working to ensure women are included.

Home » Key Programs » Women in Science & Technology Program

Research. Engineer. Program. Educate. Innovate.

Without barriers.

Program Mission Statement:

The Franklin Foundation for Innovation’s Women in Science (WiSci) and Women in Technology (WiTech) initiatives were developed to ensure America’s young girls are encouraged to join STEM fields throughout their public school education. Women are an important part of the innovation-led workforce of tomorrow where our most pressing issues and problems will need to be solved by people who learned how to solve problems at an early age.

We think supporting similar initiatives are key.

The Franklin Foundation works to create alignment around the issue of ensuring American Innovation by protecting our public school infrastructures. We work with existing non-profit organizations focused on mentoring and supporting young women. Our goals are to:

null

Expose

In order to get young girls interested in STEM fields, they must be exposed to practitioners in those spaces who are just like them. We partner with individuals and organizations to ensure girls can get exposure to female leaders, scientists, mathematicians, educators, engineers, entrepreneurs, and innovators. Exposure creates interest.
null

Encourage

Once interested, young girls must understand the steps it takes to get there and receive encouragement to make the journey. Along with our partnerships, The Franklin Foundation’s Advisor’s program positions individual mentors with groups of young girls to encourage them to pursue their dreams and help them obtain what they need to get there. Encouragement ensures follow-through.
null

Experience

Now that girls have been exposed and are encouraged, opportunities like internships and in-place studies programs will enable them to live a day-in-the-life and widen their interest in pursuing a career in a STEM field. The Franklin Experience program does just this, leveraging both partners and individuals in the industry. Experiences create excitement and long-term engagement.

What we know

We started our WiSci and WiTech initiatives because we are aware that there are significant gender gaps in STEM fields. While enrollments in scientific and mathematical fields have increased, graduation and completion rates have not. What we are seeing are first and second-year enrollments in STEM fields for young women who end up switching majors before degree completion. We believe there are a few reasons for this, with the lack of institutional supports and in-place role models being at the top of the list.

 

As the result of a disproportionate number of STEM grads who are women compared to men, companies in the technology and science sectors have a limited talent pool from which to draw candidates. Enterprises that are hiring larger numbers of females in these roles are forced to rely on talent from other countries. This important fact is why The Franklin Foundation for Innovation is focused on providing the supports and services necessary to grow America’s female STEM talent pool.

 

Our efforts are meant to encourage more girls to get into STEM fields following high school, create opportunities for them to learn more about a field through hands-on experiences, and ensure there is a healthy supply of female role models for them to interact with as they go into an area of study. By working at multiple levels to improve diversity, we can make a significant dent in the gender gap.

Hurdles Women in Science Disciplines Face
Courtesy of The National Science Foundation (NSF)

Gender Diversity Amongst Top 14 Tech Companies
Statistics compiled for CY 2015

Want to get involved in this initiative? Contact Us today!