U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly today joined a panel of STEM experts at DeVry University to discuss the critical role women in Illinois can have in filling the expected 348,000 jobs by 2018 in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Less than 10 percent of female high school students in Illinois are interested in science, and only about 2 percent are interested in technology, engineering and math, according to a 2013 report by STEMconnector.org.
“Women’s History Month is the perfect time to encourage women to enter the high-paying fields of science, technology, engineering and math. Women need to realize they possess the creativity and tenacity that are essential to technological innovation and discoveries,” Kelly said during the roundtable event at DeVry University in Tinley Park. “Women in STEM careers, on average, earn 33 percent more than women in non-STEM jobs.
Yet women are choosing these career paths at lower rates than men. We’re going to change that. We want to encourage more students, especially young women, to participate in science, technology, engineering and math to help them realize greater economic success and career achievement.”
Kelly was joined at the Women in STEM Education and Careers Roundtable by representatives from the business and nonprofit sectors, as well as educators and students. Panelists discussed their experiences and provided guidance for women pursuing STEM degrees and careers. Other panelists were:
- LaTonya Armstrong, program dean, Business and Management, DeVry University
- Taylor Bancroft, student, Game and Simulation Programming, DeVry University
- Sandee Kastrul, president and co-founder, i.c.stars
- Serena Nuccio, student, Multimedia Development and Design, DeVry University
- Kali Raoul, founder, The Image Studios
- DaWana Williamson, vice president of human services, YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago
- Moderator: Janice Stoettner, executive director, Career Development System
As a longtime champion of women in STEM education, DeVry University encourages high school students to pursue STEM-related careers through its
STEM Ready initiatives
. One of those initiatives – HerWorld® – is an interactive program presented by DeVry University to high school juniors and seniors across the country every March as part of National HerWorld Month. The program introduces young women to career opportunities in STEM fields through group activities and presentations, as well as live discussions with successful women from top local and national companies. For more information, visit:
“DeVry University’s goal is to prepare students to be competitive in today’s job market,” said Dr. Jamal Scott, DeVry University’s Tinley Park campus president, who kicked off the STEM roundtable event. “The STEM Ready initiative aims to introduce more high school students to STEM and careers in STEM. DeVry University builds on that with educational and career training in STEM-related fields, helping students transition to careers in these important fields and meeting the growing STEM job need.”