The program’s launch largely focused on debunking stereotypes that equate science and technology with “uncoolness.” In fact, a group of four Science Cheerleaders (who knew?) kicked off the event.
The cheerleaders, who support professional sports teams in and around the D.C., work as public health professionals, IT engineers and satellite intelligence analysts when they’re not on the sidelines. They make it their mission to playfully challenge stereotypes and encourage women to pursue careers in STEM. They, like all of us at AT&T, see no reason why science and “cool” things like cheerleading should be mutually exclusive.
Frankly, we need more cheerleaders to help bring attention to our nation’s STEM talent crisis. We simply aren’t graduating enough STEM majors to fill the needs of employers in the immediate and more distant future.
Much has been written about encouraging young women and minorities to participate in coding camps and activities and to register for elective STEM classes. Corporate America is doing its part with job-shadow and internship programs and funding development of materials and curricula. In fact, AT&T’s foundation has invested more than $923 million in education since 1984.