For Immediate Release
ComEd Media Relations
Women's History Month celebration focuses on mentoring young women in STEM fieldsCHICAGO (March 10, 2016) – With a theme of Girls in STEM: The Most Powerful Women of the Future, ComEd brought together 30 of Chicago's high-powered women executives to talk with young women who are working to become the next generation leaders in the world of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) at its annual Women's History Month celebration.
"ComEd is committed to helping develop the workforce of the future, and a big part of our commitment is inspiring young women to pursue STEM careers," said Anne Pramaggiore, president and CEO, ComEd. "We are grateful to the leaders who have joined us for this great event to demonstrate what's possible and to invest in these talented high school students."
The Women's History Month celebration was held at Shedd Aquarium, one of Chicago's premier culture organizations and a place where STEM is part of the everyday ecosystem. As part of the event, young women were invited to participate in speed mentoring sessions. The thirty women executives met with groups of mentees who were able talk about their aspirations and ask questions of the executives on how they overcame obstacles and achieved their success. During the evening's activities, guests also were treated to a keynote address from Brit Fitzpatrick, Founder and CEO of MentorMe, a technology company that is enabling organizations to create pathways to education and careers through an innovative mentoring platform.
Research shows that women make up 48 percent of the U.S. workforce, yet only hold 24 percent of jobs in STEM-related related fields. Key to decreasing that gap is exposing young women to role models who can help guide them down a path to success. To help get more women and minorities in STEM, ComEd launched programs to give participants hands-on experience in STEM programs. The annual Icebox Derby helps educate and empower young women to explore opportunities in STEM by creating teams to convert recycled refrigerators into race cars culminating in the Icebox Derby. The recently completed Solar Spotlight program taught African-American high school students about solar energy and how to create solar panels; ComEd also installed solar lights in the students' schools and community centers in Chicago and Rockford.
ComEd is also launching a digital ad campaign for Women's History Month, creating awareness of the disparity of women in STEM jobs and promoting the need for mentors for young women.
"Our campaign is designed to reach young women in the digital space where they live," said Pramaggiore. "We want to show them that their options are broader than they might have realized."
For more information on ComEd's STEM initiatives, visit www.theiceboxderby.com and www.comed.com/solarspotlight.
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