Caroline Mohr, a senior at Whitnall High School, is heading to college next semester. And even just sitting with her briefly, I could tell by her energy and enthusiasm that she’s bound to do great things:
“I’ve been accepted to the University of Wisconsin at Madison and I’m going to be studying Biochemistry with an intent to go to Med School.” She laughs confidently, “…I’m very excited, but I’m not so sure about the ‘ready’ party quite yet.”
And as a young women about to enter the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) career field, well, Caroline knows first-hand that some of the stats can be intimidating: in fact, the National Girl’s Collaborative Project shows, that only 13% of the STEM workforce is female. And not only can the female underrepresentation be scary, but also there’s the worry, as a female, about a potential wage gap… and, as Caroline says herself, “I’m a little bit nervous.”
But this past weekend, thanks to nonprofit Engaging Girls in Science, or EgGS, female professionals from some of the top STEM companies throughout the Milwaukee area came together to mentor over 100 high school females about to embark on this career path.
Tamara Watkins, Senior Operations Program Manager at Johnson Controls, was one of the 22 STEM professionals mentoring these high school students:
“Especially when you’re a women when you’re in a career that’s male-dominated, I had to learn to make adjustments… to be more of a listener and be more engaged with things going on around me. Some of the best decisions I’ve made in life have been to go off course.”
And with one-on-one round table discussions as well as breakout mentoring, the three-hour long event taking place at the Medical College of Wisconsin helped these students, like Caroline, to confidently enter college fueled by the advice of successful STEM women:
“I met a lot of amazing, brilliant women who are changing their fields and blazing trails in their lives. It made me really really proud to be a woman interested in STEM careers.”
Want to learn more about EgGS Initiative? Check out their website at www.eggsinitiative.org and click the podcast player above to listen to the full story.