Today is International Women’s Day (IWD) and LiveWorx is honored to participate in this worldwide effort focused on celebrating women’s achievements, raising awareness about women’s equality, lobbying for accelerated gender parity, and fundraising for female-focused charities. The theme this year is: “Choose To Challenge” and puts a specific emphasis on what we can do individually and collectively to call out gender bias and inequality, as well as celebrate women’s achievements.
Despite making up nearly half of the workforce, women are still vastly underrepresented in the STEAM/STEM workforce. There is also a substantial gap in representation for women and girls in education and women of color face even more disparity.
Did you know that women make up only 14% of the total workforce in software engineering and only 25% in computer science-related jobs? Just 3% of computing-related jobs are held by African-American women, 6% held by Asian women, and 2% held by Hispanic women. According to a recent article, “women software engineer hires have only increased 2% over the last 20 years.” There are a lot of statistics out there, each more jarring than the last.
How does the LiveWorx team Choose to Challenge?
The LiveWorx team has a goal to reflect more gender and racial diversity in STEM fields through our virtual programming with a specific focus on creating a diverse and inclusive group of featured guests.
In 2018, only 11.5% of LiveWorx presenters were female with low racial diversity as well. In 2019, the team grew this to be 19%. In 2020, despite a complete overhaul in strategy due to the global pandemic, the team was able to sustain the gender diversity of presenters with 20.3% identifying as female or non-binary. The racial diversity of presenters increased as well with 18.9% identifying as people of color. For LiveWorx 2021: The Limited Series, the target is to have 30% of our featured guests come from diverse backgrounds inclusive of gender, ethnicity, and geography.
Celebrating Diversity & Giving Credit Where It's Due:
In the spirit of celebrating women’s achievements and increasing their visibility as leaders in their industries and the tech space, we’re happy to highlight some of the women who will be featured guests at LiveWorx 2021:
- Lori Austin, Senior Customer Success Coach, Arena a PTC Business
- Olabisi Boyle, Vice President, Product Planning and Mobility Strategy, Hyundai Motor North America
- Katie Linendoll, Emmy Award-winning TV personality, Consumer Technology Expert, and One of The Leading Women in the Field of Technology
- Heather McGowan, Future of Work Strategist and CoAuthor of The Adaptation Advantage
- Sarah Reynolds, VP of Marketing, PTC
- and more to be announced soon!
We also want to celebrate many of the women who have been heroes of 2020 and 2021:
- Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, CEO of Feeding America who played a pivotal role in providing nourishment to millions with food insecurity during the pandemic.
- Anika Chebrolu, a 14-year-old scientist who identified a lead molecule for inhibiting the novel coronavirus. She won the 3M Young Scientist Challenge for her work.
- Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, one of the leading scientists behind the US Government’s vaccine research within the National Institutes of Health
- Swati Mohan, NASA's Mars 2020 guidance and controls operations lead who was responsible for successfully landing the Perseverance rover on Mars just 3 weeks ago.
- Amy O'Sullivan, an ER Nurse in Brooklyn who was first at her hospital to treat a COVID patient, survived COVID herself after being intubated and went back to work 2 weeks later.
- Gwynne Shotwell, President & COO of SpaceX who helped lead their organization to a successful landing on Mars and advocated for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.
- Özlem Türeci, Co-founder of BioNTech, which developed the first approved RNA-based vaccine against COVID-19.
We hope you will join us in sharing your own heroes in STEM on social media using #LiveWorx, #IWD2021, and #ChooseToChallenge.
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