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.
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:
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.