Encouraging the Next Generation of “TechGirls”

Women play a vital role in driving innovation at AT&T and we’re working to encourage more minorities and women to enter the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. The shortage of women in the technology sector has been well documented. Women hold less than a quarter of STEM jobs in the U.S., even though women make up more than half of the overall workforce.

Many young women lack support when contemplating a career in STEM fields and mentoring can change that dramatically.

In an effort to encourage the next generation of female innovators, last week AT&T joined with TechGirls, an initiative of the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and administered by Legacy International.  This international exchange program aims to empower young women from the Middle East and North Africa to pursue careers in the areas of science and technology.  Twenty-seven girls (ages 15-17) from Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestinian Territories, Tunisia, and Yemen have travelled to the U.S. for the three-week program.

The TechGirls participate in a summer tech camp which gives the young women the opportunity to learn about technology fields such as programming, robotics, mobile application building, web design, video graphics, and 3D game design through a hands-on skills lab. Additionally, the students consider ways technology can address needs in their own countries.

AT&T was proud to host three of the visiting students here in our Washington, D.C. office. The young women participated in a day of job shadowing to help build their confidence in pursuing technology-related careers and to show them the range of professions available. They met with several of AT&T’s women leaders, joined a Telepresence meeting with members of AT&T Labs to discuss potential mobile solutions for women in developing countries, and spent a few hours at our Innovation Center to see demos of the latest AT&T apps and services.

TechGirl participants learn about the connected hospital room and connected business environments at AT&T’s Innovation Center.

The young women we met were passionate about exploring careers in technology and developing leadership skills to be the voice of their generation. Highly-skilled workers with STEM education are increasingly important to our business – and to nearly every business – because STEM drives innovation and innovation drives our economies.

At AT&T, more than 90,000 women help lead a transformation in the way we connect with our world.  We are executives, engineers, marketers, sales people, finance leaders, attorneys – and mentors.  We were thrilled to provide these extremely bright and technologically savvy young ladies a glimpse of the exciting work we’re doing at AT&T.

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