As part of Johnson & Johnson’s WiSTEM2D initiative, launched in early 2016, Kathy Wengel, VP, Johnson & Johnson Supply Chain and an AWESOME Advisor, recently spoke to participants of Junior Achievement (JA). The goal of WiSTEM2D (Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, Manufacturing and Design) is to increase the number of undergraduate women enrolling in and declaring majors in those fields.
When J&J announced their partnership with JA Worldwide and FHI360, through which J&J will help support and create supplementary programs for girls age 5 through 18, Kathy was quoted: “The fact is that diversification of the STEM graduate pool and workforce is not proceeding at a pace we’re satisfied with.”
Meri Stevens, VP, Strategy and Development, Johnson & Johnson Supply Chain, and a panelist and speaker at AWESOME Symposiums, further described the need for WiSTEM2D. She said, “For many girls who start out strong in math and science, interest wanes along the way. There is clear evidence supporting the fact that girls and young women often receive social cues — regularly reinforced in conscious and subconscious ways by parents, schoolteachers, university professors and even managers on the job — that they can’t compete with male counterparts and therefore shouldn’t pursue their goals in science, technology, engineering and math fields.”
J&J’s goal is to reach 1 million girls by 2020 in order to increase the success rate of young women enrolling in and completing higher education and pursuing careers in STEM. The initiative also involves partnerships with 10 universities.