SALT LAKE CITY, Utah(News4Utah) This morning, some key organizations are looking to help Utah high school girls get excited about their careers. They’re preparing for SheTech Explorer Day. Roberta Reichgelt from the Salt Lake City Department of Economic Development, and Sara Jones, Co-founder of the Women Tech Council, joined Brian Carlson to explain.
The SheTech program was created by the Women Tech Council in 2014. SheTech is a STEM program to activate, engage and inspire high school girls to pursue STEM fields by giving them hands-on experience with STEM careers from experts and mentors from the tech industry.
On Explorer Day, high school girls can learn from more than 200 tech companies what STEM
careers are like through hands-on activities like robotics, coding, diamond cutting, animation, DNA and genetics testing.
During the process, they’ll learn skills and interact with mentors to help inspire them to pursue these
fields by showing them successful role models.
More than 200 of Utah’s leading technology companies will be involved, including: Adobe, AT&T,
Ancestry, Vivint Smart Home, Dell EMC, Ivanti, and Dealertrack.
Because the program has been so successful, they are expecting around 4,000 girls this year(there
were 2,500 back in 2014). Because of the increase in participating from students, they need more
mentors to get involved.
Mentors can be both men and women who work in STEM related fields, at a tech
company, or enrolled in STEM programs at a university, to mentor girls during Explorer Day.
As the technology sector continues to grow in Silicon Slopes, Salt Lake City, and worldwide, so
does the demand for skilled, qualified workers to fill the multiplying number of jobs in these
booming companies. Engaging girls at early ages, starting in K-12, will help increase the quantity and quality of students entering college to study STEM fields, expanding the state’s talent pipeline and
Salt Lake City continues to receive high rankings from numerous publications and outlets for our
innovation and emerging hub for the tech industry. There is a need to train, develop, and retain the tech
talent to fill the jobs coming online continually in that industry.
Hands-on experience and interaction with professionals and mentors changes their perception of
these careers and inspires them to pursue fields they previously thought were unattainable.
SheTech Explorer Day will be March 1 at the Mountain America Expo Center (previously the
South Towne Expo Center).
You can find more information at: SheTechExplorer.com.