In April 2021, 3M announced a new STEM-related goal to generate five million learning experiences for underrepresented youth by the end of 2025 in a bid to increase equity and diversity in STEM and skilled trades careers and education. With 83% of Australians believing that more needs to be done to encourage and keep women/girls engaged in STEM education – according to the 2022 3M State of Science Index, an annual study which tracks global perceptions around science, it’s critical that 3M continues to look for ways to level the playing field and ensure future equality and diverse representation in STEM and skilled trades industries.
Through 3Mgives sponsorships and employee volunteerism, we partner with education and community organisations that help us work towards this goal to empower greater equity, diversity, and inclusion in STEM.
- Jayshree Seth, corporate scientist and chief science advocate, 3M
Through highlighting pathways and role models and connecting participating teams with volunteer female mentors, the program engages girls and builds teamwork and mentorship skills. This in turn generates courage and confidence to remain in the STEM arena. Not only does this program provide significant exposure and opportunities to students, but it also positively impacts the parents and siblings of participants, who thus have a chance to better understand the positive impact that STEM-based education and careers may provide to aspiring female STEM ambassadors.
Through this sponsorship, 3M provided a grant of US$50,000, which would directly impact the number of girls involved in the program by covering the cost associated with joining the competition for many of the participating students across Australia and New Zealand. This grant also provided greater reach, expanding to students who are in remote and regional areas and students who may be economically disadvantaged.
"The 3M State of Science Index results tell us that Australians understand the importance of diversity in STEM, with over 80% believing that women are a source of untapped potential in the STEM workforce. Diversity in STEM is critical for the future success of this industry. The Tech Girls Competition provides young women with a fantastic opportunity to engage with STEM in a structured and empowering way and aligns with 3M’s mission to level the playing field in STEM diversity and equity.”
- Eleni Sideridis, Managing Director of 3M Australia
50% of Australians believe science is very important to their everyday life. Trust in science today is high, and science-appreciation is stronger than pre-pandemic times. With over 60% of Australians agreeing that underrepresented minorities often do not receive equal access to STEM education, it’s critical that we continue to look for opportunities to remove these barriers.
3M will continue to seek opportunities to advance economic equity in STEM by creating five million unique STEM and Skilled Trades learning experiences for underrepresented individuals by the end of 2025. We’re committed to supporting disadvantaged and underrepresented individuals interested in science while working towards removing barriers which may hinder individuals’ ability to engage in STEM.
Read more about the Tech Girls Movement Foundation: https://www.techgirlsmovement.org/
Read more about our STEM goal to empower underrepresented individuals: https://news.3m.com/3M-sets-new-STEM-goal-to-empower-underrepresented-individuals