Every year on November 8, our nation pauses to recognize the collective importance of science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEM/STEAM) within our educational curricula. For Emerson, it’s also a time to reflect on how these disciplines are critical to the success of both our organization and the heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) industry. This year on STEM Day, we celebrate the contributions of women in our organization and how STEM initiatives help to support the increased inclusion of women within our industry.
While women comprise more than half of the college-educated workforce in the United States, it’s estimated that only 29% are employed in science and engineering occupations. At Emerson, we believe in promoting workplace diversity and are doing our part to help close the STEM gender gap.
As part of our commitments to attracting, developing and retaining top female STEM candidates, we’ve developed a series of ongoing activities focused on professional development, social networking and outreach to youth and universities. Here are a few of the STEM-related initiatives we’ve promoted in 2020:
- STEM kits: hands-on activities — Various Emerson locations created and distributed STEM kits to local elementary schools to inspire students to engage their creative thinking, imagination and ingenuity in the completion of hands-on tasks. Participants shared photos and videos of their activities for a chance to win a $50 gift card and be featured in future Emerson STEM videos.
- Elementary school volunteering — On Valentine’s Day, Emerson employees from Kennesaw volunteered their time at a local elementary school to assist 3rd grade students with their STEM activity. While in the classroom, these volunteers were able to talk to students and answer questions about pursuing a variety of STEM careers.
- We love STEM event — Over the summer, Emerson sponsored an elementary-level STEM educational event, which provided students with backpack kits filled with activity materials, instructions to complete projects and fun surprises.
- Global webinar — In October, Julie Christensen, vice president, human resources measurement solutions, Emerson Automation Solutions, presented a webinar for attendees in the U.S., London and Singapore, entitled Emotional Intelligence: Your Hidden Superpower in a Changing World.
- Guest speaker — Staff members from our office in Sidney, Ohio, were treated to a guest speaker who discussed the topic of Women Work Experience in Engineering.
- TED Talk lunch and learn — This informative session featured TED Talk videos from female professional role models: Why Do Ambitious Women Have Flat Heads by Dame Stephanie Shirley; and The Secret to Giving Great Feedback by Leann Rennigner.
- Halloween pumpkin painting and carving contest — The Sidney office also participated in a pumpkin decorating contest, which put participants’ artistic skills to the test by capturing the spirit of Halloween. Categories included: scariest, best carved, most STEM-related and most creative.
All these events and activities are representative of our continuing efforts to integrate STEM into Emerson’s culture and give more women seats at the science and engineering table. We truly believe that Emerson’s women in STEM are transforming our company by providing fresh perspectives and new insights that make us a more well-rounded and successful organization — while advancing our served industries and women’s participation in STEM disciplines around the globe. View this video to learn more about Emerson’s commitment to women in STEM.
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