While job market demand for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) talent continues to grow, women and minorities remain underrepresented in STEM fields. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, women hold less than 24 percent of U.S.-based positions in STEM fields. The disparity is even greater for women of color. The National Science Foundation has found that throughout the past 20 years, African-American women’s share of bachelor’s degrees has declined in computer sciences, mathematics and statistics, and engineering.
Booz Allen’s STEM Girls 4 Social Good (SG4SG) program—run annually since 2014 in partnership with Girls Inc.—aims to bridge the talent gap in these growing fields by inviting young women to learn STEM concepts and apply them to social good problems. SG4SG has a cascading mentorship model, bringing together professionals and university students with STEM backgrounds to engage the next generation.
The signature program for SG4SG is a week-long, hands-on learning experience. Each summer, more than 50 middle school and high school-aged girls from Washington, DC, join our employees and the firm’s Summer Games interns for one week of immersion in STEM.
Past participants tackled challenges ranging from human trafficking to food deserts. Using STEM disciplines, participants have explored the intersection of cybersecurity and safety; learned to identify zip codes that lack access to affordable, healthy food options; and used predictive modeling to study human trafficking patterns.