FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 1, 2015
Dave Parker, Communications Director, 444-9844
Mike Wessler, Deputy Communications Director, 444-9725
Montana STEM Mentors Initiative Signs-Up 100th Mentor
HELENA – Lt. Governor Angela McLean and First Lady Lisa Bullock today announced that the Montana STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Mentors initiative has surpassed its goal of 100 STEM mentors agreeing to provide guidance to women and girls interested in pursuing a career in the STEM fields. McLean and Bullock launched the initiative in December, with the goal of recruiting 100 professional mentors to work with schools and students in their community to help them gain valuable skills and experience in STEM fields.
“Montanans recognize that the greatest thing we can give to the next generation is our time and experience,” McLean said. “Through this initiative, we now have more than100 Montanans who are making a difference in their communities and the lives of girls and young women.”
Montanans who have agreed to serve as STEM mentors commit to volunteer at least 20 hours through the end of the year to provide information, guidance and insight to girls and young women in Montana interested in pursuing an education and career in the STEM fields.
“I was fortunate to have committed mentors to provide guidance and their expertise while I pursued my degree in math,” said Bullock, who is an IT software engineer. “I’m honored to now be able to provide that same guidance to Montana girls and young women, and humbled by the commitment of other STEM professionals in our state.”
Studies have shown that one contributing factor to the gender-pay gap is the underrepresentation of women in STEM fields. While women account for nearly half of the workforce in the U.S., they account for less than a quarter of those working in STEM careers. STEM fields have also been shown to have a much smaller gender-wage gap than other occupations.
“As a STEM mentor I’m proud to support girl-serving organizations in Montana that work to connect young women with positive STEM role models,” said Tiphani Lynn, a graduate student in neuroscience at MSU-Bozeman. “I see first-hand how important it is for young women to interact with women scientists and engineers. These alliances can shatter misconceptions and restore a young woman’s confidence in her ability to succeed in a STEM career.”
The Montana Stem Mentors initiative is a part of the national Million Women Mentors campaign to increase the number of mentors available to girls and young women interested in entering the STEM fields. Montanans interested in serving as a STEM Mentor can commit at InnovateMontana.com/stem