Today, I’m surrounded by thousands of sources of inspiration. I’m in Columbus, Ohio, for the kickoff of the Girl Scouts of the USA’s national convention: G.I.R.L. 2017, for which I’m proud to say AT&T is the platinum sponsor. It’s an event that only comes around once every 3 years.
G.I.R.L. stands for “Go-getter. Innovator. Risk-taker. Leader.” These descriptors really resonate with me because they represent who all girls can be and who so many girls already ARE. I believe it’s our job, as adults and mentors, to help them get there.
One of my passions is the advancement of our youth, and particularly, of our girls – especially those in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). This is one of the reasons I serve on the Girl Scouts’ national board of directors. Girl Scouts is the preeminent leadership-development organization for girls, giving them the tools, resources and experiences to learn and prepare for a lifetime of leadership.
A recent study by Accenture and Girls Who Code, “Cracking the Gender Code,” reports the number of women in computing science careers will drop from 24% to 22% by 2025. Why? Many girls simply don’t build and maintain interest throughout their education. Girls who are interested in STEM may not see others who look like them and lose enthusiasm too soon. We need to find a fix.
Girls deserve an even playing field with educational and enrichment opportunities to thrive.
As the mother of 2 daughters – both Girl Scouts, I might add – this has been top of mind for me their entire lives. As a Girl Scout and woman in technology, it’s an issue I’ve also had to deal with throughout my education and career.
I’m proud to work for a company that shares my commitment to technology and helping girls succeed. AT&T has supported the Girl Scouts for over 30 years, donating nearly $8 million in that time.
And in the past 6 years, AT&T employees have volunteered more than 100,000 hours with the Girl Scouts. In just the past calendar year, we donated $1 million to the Girl Scouts. We’ve also given more than $7 million to support women in STEM over the past 2 years.
This weekend, we’ll put that commitment on display through speeches and activities we’ve planned for G.I.R.L. 2017. One of the most tangible ways is our “Infinity Room” at the AT&T Hall of Experiences. I’m hoping the thousands I mentioned above will find their own inspiration there. It includes games, videos and quizzes – all created to help girls discover their infinite possibilities.
At AT&T, we’re pioneering the future of communications, content and distribution. It’s the place where this girl found her calling over 27 years ago. My wish is that our next generation of G.I.R.L.s will find places where they, too, can be go-getters, innovators, risk-takers and leaders.
Anne Chow - President National Business