Wells Fargo Renews Partnership with Million Women Mentors for Third Year to Support Women’s Entrepreneurship
On February 1, 2020, the Million Women Mentors Entrepreneurship Initiative (MWM-Ei) launched its 3rd year as a partnership between Wells Fargo & Company and Million Women Mentors, an initiative of STEMconnector. The program seeks to support mentor/mentee relationships between entrepreneurs whose Women Business Enterprises (WBE) provide goods or services related to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). For the past two decades, women-owned businesses have been the fastest growing segment in the U.S. economy; today women business owners employ more than 4 million workers and contribute about $1 trillion to the economy. Wells Fargo & Company is a diversified community-based financial services company with a deep commitment to strengthening businesses and empowering entrepreneurs and small business owners through its Supplier Diversity Program. “Wells Fargo is committed to developing strong women entrepreneurs in this area because we fundamentally believe that women-owned businesses can help corporations create and capture value,” shared Regina O. Heyward, SVP and Head of Supplier Diversity at Wells Fargo. “Wells Fargo invests more than $1 million annually in supplier development and capacity building activities focused on access to capital, technical assistance, and mentoring to grow high-potential diverse business.” This year’s cohort of mentees have already been selected and matched with mentors and will begin working to create and implement a strategic growth plan that focuses on how to grow and scale their businesses with the assistance of their mentors. The program captures each mentee’s progress through monthly status reports and quarterly evaluations, and mentees also have the opportunity to attend education sessions specifically designed for the needs of the cohort. Building on the success of the first two years of this program, Wells Fargo looks forward to having a continued impact for WBEs and amplifying the importance of mentoring to support women’s leadership and growth opportunities. “Until I joined this program, my growth strategy was non-existent,” shared previous program mentee Rashi Khosla, CEO of MARS Solutions Group. “The MWM-Ei program gave me a growth plan, structure, and validation.” Khosla has now returned to the program in it’s 3rd year as a mentor herself and looks forward to sharing her own knowledge and expertise with a new mentee. “We are thrilled that Wells Fargo has dedicated their energy and resources to this impactful work,” Leslie Cruz, CEO of STEMconnector. “These ongoing initiatives are key to establishing scalable programs that inspire and support women across the STEM ecosystem.” To see some of the new pairings of mentors and mentees for 2020, please click here.
We are so excited to share all that has been going on in MWM-TN! CGLA In support of National Mentor Month, Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy coordinated a discussion with professionals and students about life after high school as 100% of the seniors intend to pursue post-secondary education or credentialing—one of which has committed to Columbia University. Speakers were all Columbia alumni—an attorney, a business owner, and a medical Chaplin. Participants discussed college and career decisions, the importance of staying focused, enjoying life, and what college can offer. CWLI On January 23, mentees of the Chattanooga Women’s Leadership Institute program “Game ChangeHer” were hosted at Unum by trained mentors. Groups of mentors helped guide students toward opportunities that will on-ramp them to their desired careers and worked with mentees through individual projects that will become a collective, art installation on display at Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy this Spring. Memphis The Society of Female Transportation Professionals (SFTP), a Memphis-area professional organization, hosted a lunch meeting with students pursuing transportation majors at the University of Memphis (UM) on January 29. SFTP members shared their experiences in pursuing transportation careers and answered students’ questions regarding college-to-career transitions, workplace culture, work-life balance, and strategies for career success. The event was supported by the Southeast Transportation Workforce Center at the UM, Vaco, CN, Mallory Alexander International Logistics, and Technicolor Global Logistics. Tennessee American Water and Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute Tennessee American Water and the Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute hosted a workshop with hands-on activities—using models of watersheds and water and wastewater treatment plants—to teach 10th grade students from Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy about the importance of clean water—in nature and at home. Students toured the Aquarium’s flagship freshwater science center to discover how biologists are restoring native species like Lake Sturgeon, Southern Appalachian Brook Trout, and Barrens Topminnows and how water quality impacts the health of these animals and all life on earth. The group also learned about the important work performed by water professionals to assure that drinking water is safe to drink and wastewater is properly treated so that the water can be continued to be used.
MWM Entrepreneurship Initiative The MWM-EI Mentor Program is a one (1) year development program designed to strengthen and grow Women Business Enterprises (WBEs) whose organization provides a good or service related to science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM). The MWM-EI program is designed to match 5-10 WBE's to a respective larger company to act as their mentor for a year to assist the mentee company in ways to achieve growth. Learn more or apply for the program at www.millionwomenmentors.com/mwm-ei
Women in Insurance White Paper Released WASHINGTON, D.C.—STEMconnector announced the release of its Women in Insurance White Paper at the Million Women Mentors National Summit and Awards Ceremony on October 24 at the National Press Club. The paper provides an overview of existing trends in the industry while highlighting innovative approaches currently underway at a number of leading insurance organizations and sharing critical opportunities for recruiting and nurturing top female talent. Women represent 60% of all insurance workers, but hold only 17% of board seats and 10% of top management positions. Additionally, the insurance industry demonstrates significant pay disparity, with women earning only 62 cents on the dollar compared to their male colleagues. After examining existing gaps in the representation of female leaders throughout the industry, the Women in Insurance White Paper also shares promising survey results in which respondents report their leadership teams increasingly acknowledging these issues and voicing a desire to improve work environments and opportunities for female employees. ACORD, Erie Insurance, MEMIC, Prudential, QBE, VSP Vision Care, and TATA Consultancy Services co-sponsored the production of the paper. “Our predecessors worked hard to get women a seat at the table. It is our duty to get the next generation of women a seat at the head of that table.” Carol Zacharias SVP & Underwriting Counsel, QBE North America STEMconnector founder and chairman Edie Fraser commends the leadership exemplified by these sponsoring companies and urges others to “join STEMconnector in telling the story, saluting the progress, and pushing the envelope for women, especially women of color, into important roles in the insurance industry.” The publication can be downloaded here or on the Resources page of this site. ### About STEMconnector. Founded in 2011, STEMconnector is the organization for STEM education and jobs. STEMconnector brings together 165+ organizations as part of an established platform designed to leverage partnerships and collaboration to advance the STEM economy and the future of jobs. Our collective network represents the entire talent pipeline and impacts millions of jobs. STEMconnector is owned by Diversified Search, the largest women-owned executive search firm in the U.S. and with global search capabilities in 29 countries.
MWM Reaches 2 Million Pledges WASHINGTON, DC — October 24, 2017 | STEMconnector’s Million Women Mentors (MWM) initiative has reached two million pledges for mentoring relationships and is on target to reach its goal of three million by 2020. Additionally, there have been over 958,000 completed mentoring relationships as of this release. To build on this progress and enable the organization to reach its goal, MWM and MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership announced a new partnership during the Million Women Mentors National Summit and Awards Ceremony on October 23-24 at the National Press Club. The partnership will leverage existing resources to expand Million Women Mentors’ presence to all 50 states, and add 1,032 organizations to the number of NGOs and non-profits currently providing mentoring services to youth and young career professionals through MWM, particularly women and girls, exponentially increasing engagement efforts and creating an effortless user experience for members. MWM currently serves 43 states and works with 85 NGOs and non-profits nationwide at 958 sites, and global expansion efforts are underway. PANELISTS FROM AN EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP DISCUSSION POSE TOGETHER ON FIRST DAY OF THE MILLION WOMEN MENTORS SUMMIT & AWARDS IN DC. Founded in 2014, Million Women Mentors helps companies and corporations across the nation connect with local girl-serving mentee organizations to provide face-to-face and online mentoring opportunities for their employees. The 3rd Annual MWM Summit & Awards provided an opportunity for celebration of the two million pledges milestone along with learning, networking, and collaboration to advance the MWM movement for women and girls in STEM. Speakers included former U.S. Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith and Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds as keynotes, with additional panels and sessions featuring Arkansas Lt. Governor Tim Griffin, Ohio Lt. Governor Mary Taylor, Kathleen Martinez of BP, Tonie Leatherberry of Deloitte, Lakshmi Eleswarpu of Boeing, and many others who have been advocates of the MWM movement. Awards for achievements empowering women in STEM were presented to Gov. Kim Reynolds, Dr. Sue Ellspermann of Ivy Tech Community College, Balaji Ganapathy of Tata, and several others. A comprehensive list of awards and recipients can be found at: millionwomenmentors.com. “We are so excited to bring together so many thought leaders from across the country to celebrate this progress and advance our movement,” said STEMconnector founder and chair Edie Fraser. “We are on track to truly make a difference for women and girls across the country who have been historically underrepresented in STEM careers and leadership.” The event also coincided with the release of three publications from MWM: The 100 Corporate Women Leaders in STEM, profiling 100 of the top female STEM leaders in the nation; the annual State of the States report, detailing the progress of each of MWM’s 43 active states; as well as the Women in Insurance: Leading to Action white paper, illuminating existing areas of opportunity for female leadership in the insurance industry while highlighting some of the existing efforts underway by various industry leaders. The 65 national sponsors of MWM were saluted, with TCS being commended for building the MWM website, MillionWomenMentors.com. The MWM Global Committee, led by PepsiCo and joined by Boeing and Credit Suisse, shared updates on its three-year plan. Also announced at the event was the MWM Entrepreneur Initiative with Wells Fargo, which aims to support and strengthen women-owned businesses. According to MENTOR’s 2015 report, The Mentoring Effect, youth with mentors are often twice as likely to be successful in school, to be leaders in their communities, and to enter into young adulthood with opportunities for ongoing education and career choices. At the same time, companies that provide mentoring opportunities for their employees see greater employee retention, engagement, and productivity.1 This kind of engagement is especially pressing for women in STEM fields, where only 24% of the workforce is female and only 6.7% of women earn STEM degrees. About Million Women Mentors An initiative of STEMConnector, Million Women Mentors is the gender movement that supports the engagement of millions of STEM mentors to increase the interest and confidence of girls and young women to enter and succeed in STEM programs and careers. About STEMconnector STEMconnector® is committed to increasing the number of STEM-ready workers in the global talent pool. Owned by Diversified Search, LLC, we provide a platform to engage leaders in both public and private sectors who collectively are re-envisioning the workforce and identifying strategies to increase the number of STEM-ready workers. Our goal is to inform, stimulate, counsel and connect leaders with a passion for and commitment to closing the STEM-ready gaps. About MENTOR MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership (MENTOR) is the unifying champion for expanding quality youth mentoring relationships in the United States. For more than 25 years, MENTOR has served the mentoring field by providing a public voice; developing and delivering resources to mentoring programs nationwide; and promoting quality for mentoring through evidence-based standards, innovative research and essential tools. MENTOR has developed and supports a national network of affiliate Mentoring Partnerships that provide regional, state and local leadership and infrastructure necessary to support the expansion of quality mentoring relationships. Together, we engage with the private, public and nonprofit sectors to ensure that all youth have the support they need through mentoring relationships to succeed at home, school and, ultimately, work.
National Stand Up for STEM Award Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds Governor Kim Reynolds, a former state senator and county treasurer, serves as Iowa’s 43rd Governor. Prior to taking office in May 2017, she served as Iowa’s 45th Lt. Governor from 2011-2017. Governor Reynolds was named co-chair of the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council, along with University of Northern Iowa President Ben Allen in September of 2011. She also serves as co-chair of the Iowa Partnership for Economic Progress board, which was created in October 2011. As Iowa’s first female governor, Kim Reynolds has a long history of encouraging women to lead. In 2012 she was named one of the 100 Women Leaders in STEM by STEMconnector, an annual publication acknowledging role models of STEM leadership. Governor Reynolds has worked tirelessly to provide access to STEM for students, especially the underrepresented and underserved, and champions an innovative economy for her state. The Governor launched MWM-IA in 2014 as the first state involved, and proudly serves as the national Honorary Chair of Million Women Mentors. She is a great advocate for women and girls in STEM and she has had an active role in securing honorary leadership for MWM across the country. MWM-IA recently participated in the STEM Day at the Iowa State Fair in August of 2017 where the Governor presented MWM-IA’s Stand Up for STEM Award to John Deere for their dedication to STEM literacy for young people in Iowa. The National Stand Up for STEM recognizes a national leader for MWM. Outstanding State Achievement Award MWM-CA MWM-CA is led by the CA Commission on the Status of Women and Girls and University of California Davis Office of the Provost with an active Steering Committee of Government, Non Profit and Private Sector leaders. MWM-CA recently increased their pledge goal to 100,000 as they surpassed their initial pledge goal of 50,000 with 66,210 completed mentoring relationships. Over this past year, the California Commission on the Status of Women & Girls and the California Department of Education developed a series of successful town halls. Upcoming events for MWM-CA include presenting at the State STEAM Symposium, and holding their first ambassador training for Women in Tech in San Francisco. MWM-CA is partnering with UC Davis and MentorCloud to establish a private online platform that brings together California women interested in STEM fields. MWM-CA has also uniquely funded a position for MWM and are looking to expand that. States are a cornerstone of MWM. The MWM State Award is decided via a nomination and voting process by state leaders. Transformational Leadership in Higher Education Award Dr. Sue Ellspermann - President, Ivy Tech Community College Dr. Sue Ellspermann has been serving as President of Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana since May of 2016. Ivy Tech Community College is one of the nation’s largest community colleges, and a vital workplace development source for Indiana. Dr. Ellspermann is dedicated to providing Indiana’s workforce the training and skills needed to meet the demand of employers. She works to develop and implement programs to prepare students and workers for the growing economy. Dr. Ellspermann has served as Honorary Chair for Million Women Mentors-Indiana since MWM was launched. She attended the first MWM Summit & Gala, and participated in the main panel. As President of Ivy Tech she has continued her role in MWM and even allocated staff to support the effort for Indiana. She is part of the team that will be sponsoring the MWM Stand Up for STEM Award this year and presenting it at the largest Women’s Conference in Indiana later this fall. Veterans Engagement Award Monster In 1999, Military.com revolutionized the way the 30 million Americans with military affinity stay connected. Today the Military.com team, made up of veterans, active members of the National Guard, reserve, and military spouses, run the largest online military and veteran membership organization. Free membership connects over 10 million service members, military families and veterans to all the benefits of service and provides the resources to use them. In 2004, Military.com partnered with Monster Worldwide to accelerate their growth and offer broadened career and educational opportunities for service members, veterans and military spouses. Military and Monster hold an Annual Academy Women Officer Leadership Event to honor female service members. The event includes educational and professional development workshops and an invaluable opportunity for female officers, midshipmen and senior enlisted women to benefit from the open dialogue, career enhancing information, and mentoring opportunities. Together, Military.com and Monster also enhance the military spouse experience by participating in the Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring Our Heroes Military Spouse Career Event, in which experts teach sessions on networking and career enhancement strategies. This Memorial Day, Military.com participated in a panel at NASA titled “Stories from the Trenches-A Woman’s Perspective,” and it is actively involved with the Department of Defense’s initiative to foster innovation by supporting female veteran entrepreneurs. Excellence in Partner Innovation Award Techbridge Girls Techbridge is a program to expand the academic and career options for girls in science, technology, and engineering. Techbridge Girls was highlighted in testimony at the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies as an example of a STEM program that introduces girls, especially girls of color, to role models and mentors from STEM workplaces. They recruit girls from underrepresented groups, such as Hispanic, African-American, and Native American girls. Their programs focus on underserved communities, where STEM enrichment opportunities for girls are not easily accessible. We reach out to girls and help them develop the skills, confidence, perseverance, and passion they need to enter the STEM workforce. I would like to nominate Techbridge Girls because they recognize the importance of impactful mentor relationships and have volunteered to work with us on creating a mentor guide specifically for MWM members to utilize when working with women and girls. Male Champion of Change Award Balaji Ganapathy, Tata Consultancy Services Since its inception, Balaji and the entire TCS team have been a driving force behind the Million Women Mentors movement, committing resources and countless person-hours to the cause. In addition to Balaji’s work with MWM, he has also been a chair of STEMconnector’s STEM Innovation Task Force, proving his commitment to innovative STEM programs and mentoring. He will be continuing to lead as Co-Chair of the Global STEM Talent Initiative in 2017-2018. Balaji holds a leadership role at many organizations, including Million Women Mentors, NPower, US2020 and IMPACT 2030. He has an extraordinary vision for what good corporations, and the people within them, can do. In addition to his work outside of TCS, Balaji heads a TCS employee-run computer science and STEM education program for middle schoolers called goIT. Seventy percent of students participating in the wildly successful goIT program reported an increased interest in STEM, and the program won TCS’s internal Employee Engagement Award as “Social Responsibility Project of the Year” in 2016. Balaji’s dedication to helping others is purpose driven, and for that reason he deserves the Male Champion of Change Award. Corporate Commitment Award Kathleen Martinez - BP BP America’s STEM and mentoring efforts show a commitment to social responsibility not shared by many other corporations. In addition to BP’s ongoing partnership with Million Women Mentors, they also inspire students to pursue STEM pathways through their Drone Camp (a partnership with Rice University), the newly formed OTC Energy Challenge (challenging high school students to find real answers to industry problems) and the International Student Energy Summit. In addition, BP equips STEM teachers for success through their support of the Association of Science and Technology Centers and through resources shared online. Employees of BP show a commitment to their communities through the BP STEM Ambassador Volunteer Program and by participating directly in Million Women Mentors. Martinez plays a central role in the advancement of BP America’s national external affairs efforts. Her responsibilities include leading key strategic relationships and oversight of the company’s U.S. commitment to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education, and veterans outreach efforts. Martinez is a member of the board of directors for the Houston Independent School District Foundation, serves as BP’s representative on the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Senior Executive Corporate Advisory Board, and trustee liaison for the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering. She is on the national Million Women Mentors Leadership Council, and the Texas Science and Engineering Fair Advisory Board. Martinez was named the 2014 Corporate Advocate of the Year by the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and recently invited to be a fellow of the American Leadership Forum’s Class XLI.BP America’s STEM and mentoring efforts show a commitment to social responsibility not shared by many other corporations. In addition to BP’s ongoing partnership with Million Women Mentors, they also inspire students to pursue STEM pathways through their Drone Camp (a partnership with Rice University), the newly formed OTC Energy Challenge (challenging high school students to find real answers to industry problems) and the International Student Energy Summit. In addition, BP equips STEM teachers for success through their support of the Association of Science and Technology Centers and through resources shared online. Employees of BP show a commitment to their communities through the BP STEM Ambassador Volunteer Program and by participating directly in Million Women Mentors. Martinez plays a central role in the advancement of BP America’s national external affairs efforts. Her responsibilities include leading key strategic relationships and oversight of the company’s U.S. commitment to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education, and veterans outreach efforts. Martinez is a member of the board of directors for the Houston Independent School District Foundation, serves as BP’s representative on the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Senior Executive Corporate Advisory Board, and trustee liaison for the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering. She is on the national Million Women Mentors Leadership Council, and the Texas Science and Engineering Fair Advisory Board. Martinez was named the 2014 Corporate Advocate of the Year by the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and recently invited to be a fellow of the American Leadership Forum’s Class XLI. Entrepreneurial Leadership Award Siobhan Mullen - TiViTz Siobhan Mullen, CEO of the TiViTz parent company, has advocated for girls to enter STEM fields throughout her career. With a background in physics and optical engineering, Siobhan pursued a career in the aerospace industry, working with satellites solutions and launch sites. Her success afforded her a front row seat to watch the attrition rate in the science and high-tech industries go up, while the number of students entering STEM fields went down. She was moved by the challenges facing students and as a result, took a hiatus from her career to help students by motivating them to want to speak the language of STEM - math. To help students build math skills, Siobhan and game creator Steve Scully, created TiViTz, a math and strategy game, which has motivated hundreds of thousands of students to excel in math as a board game and online. TiViTz was most recently honored as the Microsoft U.S. Public Sector Education Mobility Partner of the Year. The TiViTz team’s dedication to addressing the global STEM pipeline crisis drives all of their collaborative programs and partnerships, including the upcoming TiViTz Math Bee. Distinguished Service Award Dr. Eleanor Smalley - JASON Learning JASON Learning, a nonprofit organization that teaches experiential learning to over 3.7 Million K-12 students by placing them in challenging, real-world situations while being guided and mentored by leading STEM professionals in their respected fields. JASON Learning was instrumental in helping Million Women Mentors reach its goal of 1 Million pledges by making a pledge of 210,000, which at the time was the largest pledge ever made. Their unparalleled access into the schools has given Million Women Mentors the unique ability to mentor girls right in the classroom. JASON Learning understands how important it is to foster a student’s curiosity during their critical years of development when their curiosity and imagination about the world around them is at its peak. As a result, 96% of students who complete JASON’s Argonaut program are now employed in STEM careers. Mentor of the Year Community Innovator Award Gabriela Gonzalez Over the last two years, Gabriela and her team at Intel developed a mentoring approach that empowers a collaborative network of organizations to inspire and excite middle school girls in STEM Fields. Through its design, the partnership brings together partners whose relative strengths enable maximum impact. These partners and activities include: TEC is For Girls!!! – A coalition of Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation, Phoenix College, South Mountain Community College, and Gateway Community College bringing the experience of college and technology-related studies to middle school girls. Enabling Future Engineers through innovative, real-world STEM curriculum – A collaboration with Iridescent and AGUILA Youth Leadership Institute to infuse technology, engineering and computer science curriculum into their college preparation and life skills development programs for high school girls. Technolochicas Lift - Televisa Foundation and the League of United Latin American Citizens work together to bring technology and hands-on training to existing technology centers in the community to develop innovation skills and stimulate middle-school girls’ interest in STEM careers. The partnership leans heavily on Intel’s committed workforce to engage middle school girls in this powerful collaboration. Gabriela and her partners at Intel and in the community take the same innovative approach that defines their corporate culture to realize their goal of engaging diverse communities in technical careers.