State Efforts Announced To Advance Girls In Stem

Kansas and Missouri Pledge 7000 Mentors to Million Women MentorsĀ®
Posted on 02/01/2015
Science Technology Engineering and Math

This week, Million Women Mentors, in partnership with five states is proud to announce over 40,000 commitments to mentor a girl or young woman in STEM skills. The national goal of the movement is to garner one million mentors in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) professions over the next four years, to collectively increase the interest and confidence of girls and young women in these academic areas.  Missouri and Kansas are joining approximately 30 states by collectively pledging 7,000 mentors along with new states Indiana, New Jersey and Ohio. 

Companies and organizations like Tata Consultancy Services, PepsiCo, the Lieutenant Governor of Iowa, Apollo Education Group, are committing to mentor girls and young women in STEM fields, along with more than 22 states. By taking the pledge at, these states, organizations and corporations are committing to mentoring a young woman for a minimum of 20 hours through one of the five suggested mentor pathways. For more information, please visit our website.  

“We salute the state-level leadership and know how hard they have worked to build their mentoring pledges,” states Edie Fraser, CEO of STEMconnector® and Million Women Mentors®, “…adding these new pledges to the over 160,000 already made through our official site takes us past the 200,000 mark – which is tremendous since our four year initiative only launched in January, 2014. We expect big corporate and government pledge announcements in the coming months as well as a city movement where mayors are joining the MWM Movement.” 

The Missouri Mathematics and Science Coalition and the KC STEM Alliance, along with multiple Missouri and Kansas STEM industries, organizational and educational partners are joining efforts with the Million Women Mentors initiative to increase awareness and participation of women in STEM occupations.  This is much needed, considering that women comprise about 50% of the US workforce, but only 24% work in STEM fields.   

In order to increase this percentage groups must work together to break down barriers and dispel myths that women are either not smart enough, driven or have the aptitude to enter into a STEM career.  The shortest route to do so is to demonstrate to young girls and women that there are highly successful women that are currently working in STEM occupations across a diverse set of industries.  Million Women Mentors is dedicated to providing the portal to connect professional STEM women and men as mentors to young girls and women. 

“We welcome Kansas and Missouri to the growing list of states that recognize the need to move

the needle on girls and women in STEM.  We look forward to supporting these efforts and seeing the results of this movement in Indiana” said Sheila Boyington who is leading the MWM State Initiatives as a senior advisor to the MWM team. 

The Million Women Mentor’s initiative aligns well with current efforts being conducted across

Missouri and Kansas with groups like Science Pioneers, Girl Scouts, Society of Women Engineers, the National Girls Collaborative Project and ongoing initiatives like WiSTEMM and KCWiT.  It is with this that both the Missouri Mathematics and Science Coalition and the KC STEM Alliance will work over the coming two years to promote the MWM movement and encourage Missouri’s and Kansas’s women STEM professionals to become a mentor and help realize the potential of a young women’s future. 

 “The majority of the tomorrow’s jobs will be firmly grounded in STEM.  If we are to be prepared as a state, and as a nation, to meet this new frontier, we must encourage and inspire young women to see the tremendous potential that STEM professions hold for their future.  The Missouri Mathematics and Science Coalition is proud to participate in a joint state effort to advance the Million Women Mentor movement. There should be no greater call to action than the one to bring guidance to today’s youth. The Million Women Mentor’s movement is that call to action.”  Brian Crouse, Executive Director, Missouri Mathematics and Science Coalition. 

According to Laura Loyacono, Executive Director of the Kansas City STEM Alliance, “We cannot afford to leave out 50% of this country’s workforce, especially in STEM fields. KC STEM Alliance is intentionally working to change the representation of women in STEM field by increasing the engagement of girls with STEM subjects through coursework, access to female mentors and extracurricular activities. We are pleased to play a collaborative leadership role in both Missouri and Kansas by convening STEM partners across the state line to support the Million Women Mentor movement and the combined states' pledge of 7,000 mentors.” 

To learn more on how you can participate in your state’s efforts please register at the website  Watch for the update of the site by March, 2015, at a time when states will be highlighted during Women’s History Month. 

About Million Women Mentors: Launched on January 8th, 2014, MWM is the collective action of over 58 national partners and 30 corporate sponsors (as of July 2014) designed to increase the number of girls and women within the high school to work age continuum that persist and succeed in STEM programs and careers. For more information on MWM, please

About STEMconnector®: STEMconnector® is a consortium of over 110 companies, associations, academic institutions and government entities concerned with STEM education and the future of human capital. STEMconnector® focuses on the STEM workforce and jobs, with a particular emphasis on diversity and women. Our work spans the entire pipeline (Kindergarten to Jobs) and how STEM education experiences translate into careers. For more information, visit

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