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Chris Moore, the CEO of FIRST, is leading a global initiative to prepare young people between ages 4-18 for the future through inclusive, team-based robotics programs. As technology becomes more integrated into our daily lives, there is a growing concern in the business community about the need for qualified professionals in the tech sector and other STEM positions. Hiring managers should focus on reaching young women with positive STEM messages and experiences to address this issue.

Mentorship plays a crucial role in fostering STEM interest among female students. Building mentor-student relationships in extracurricular activities like robotics clubs and providing company grants and donations can help ensure that even underrepresented students, including girls and those from rural areas, have access to learning opportunities. By engaging employees in talent pipelining efforts, companies can help bridge the STEM gender gap and improve their reputation and affinity among young women.

Educational and societal barriers contribute to fewer women selecting STEM college majors and entering related fields. Gender stereotypes and biases, as well as cultural and institutional barriers, can discourage girls and women from pursuing STEM careers. To combat this, leaders should ensure their workplace culture is inclusive and free of bias, and parents can encourage their children to explore their STEM interests from a young age to build confidence in the field.

By showcasing more diverse role models and providing access to innovative technologies, companies can inspire young women to pursue STEM careers. By encouraging employees to mentor and volunteer in STEM classrooms, businesses can help students see the possibilities that exist in STEM fields. Fostering young women’s interest in STEM is vital for organizations looking to thrive in today’s landscape, and through strategic investments, employee engagement, and allyship, significant progress can be made in engaging this critical talent stakeholder group.

The Forbes Business Council is a leading growth and networking organization for business owners and leaders. Chris Moore’s work with FIRST and the importance of engaging young women in STEM is highlighted as crucial for businesses looking to succeed in the modern tech-driven world. By prioritizing mentorship, diversity, and inclusion in STEM education, companies can help bridge the gender gap in the industry and cultivate the next generation of STEM professionals.

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