imgres-1It’s no secret that men far surpass the number of women, especially in leadership positions, in the science, technology, engineering and math fields, known as STEM.
“The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that by 2020 there will be more than 1.4 million computing-related job openings,” according to a “Girls in IT: The Facts” report by the National Center for Women & Information Technology. “At current rates, however, we can only fill about 30% of those jobs with U.S. computing bachelor’s grads. Girls represent a valuable, mostly untapped talent pool.”
So what’s the solution?
Reaching girls when they are young and encouraging them to pursue careers in STEM fields.
And VentureLab, an educational organization at Geekdom, understands that problem and wants to be part of the solution.
VentureLab has launched a new program for girls five to 13 years old, which will educate them on entrepreneurship, science and technology. The second program, with 30 participants, kicks off Monday and runs through Friday next week at Geekdom. The first program featured girls making smart phone apps, creating websites and making 3D models.
During the program, girls come up with ideas for companies and then create prototypes of them. On Friday, the teams will pitch their business ideas to classmates, parents and Geekdom members.
Cristal Glangchai, CEO and Founder of VentureLab, created the program with the goal of increasing the participation of women in entrepreneurial activities in San Antonio. She also wants to fill the gap of women in the workforce by reaching girls earlier and encouraging them to pursue STEM fields. She also runs 3 Day Startup San Antonio, a weekend entrepreneurial “bootcamp” for budding college and professional entrepreneurs.
“The girls who signed up for 3 Day Startup would often back out the day before,” Glangchai said in a news release. “When I asked them why, they said they were intimidated. Our programs work to provide an inviting atmosphere for girls and women. We give young women the tools to feel more confident and creative in entrepreneurial and leadership roles.”
VentureLab’s other co-ed programs include Youth Startup for 5 to 12 year olds, High School Startup for teenagers and 3 Day Startup San Antonio.