The Perot Museum of Nature and Science announced today that it will partner with IF/THEN, an initiative of Lyda Hill Philanthropies supporting women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
IF/THEN, built on the mantra that “if we support a woman in STEM, then she can change the world,” seeks to advance women in STEM by empowering current innovators and inspiring the next generation of female pioneers.
This first-of-its-kind coalition emphasizes that STEM is everywhere, essential to the success of all fields from entertainment to business and that there is no better time to highlight positive and successful female professional role models to activate a culture shift among young girls and their potential of careers in STEM.
As an educational institution whose mission is “to inspire minds through nature and science,” the Perot Museum of Nature and Science will work with IF/THEN to achieve gender equity in the career-inspiration profiles displayed throughout the Museum. These graphic panels and videos highlight women in diverse and exciting STEM careers who serve as role models to the next generation of female leaders.
“Our nation’s future economy increasingly depends on a STEM-capable workforce,” said Linda Silver, Eugene McDermott chief executive officer of the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. “The Perot Museum plays a crucial role in fueling that workforce pipeline by introducing girls of all ages to exciting and enriching experiences that will ignite their imaginations and ambitions to pursue rewarding careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. We applaud and support Lyda Hill and the IF/THEN initiative for shining a national spotlight on and elevating the importance of women in STEM.”
Though women constitute about half of the college-educated workforce in the United States, just a quarter of STEM professionals are female, and a lack of funding and visibility has caused female STEM professionals to receive significantly less credit for their work. In a news release, the Perot Museum said this STEM gender gap has impacted perceptions of women in STEM, and trickles down to younger generations.
“We need more women scientists to put their stories out there so girls can see what they can be when they grow up,” said Nicole Small, president of Lyda Hill Philanthropies and co-founder of IF/THEN. “To ensure that current female STEM innovators are supported, and girls are exposed to the STEM role models they need, we must join forces toward this common goal. We believe that having diverse perspectives at the table is key to building a more innovative future, and if we work together, we can truly shift the culture to inspire the next generation of female world-changers. That is why we are partnering with the Perot Museum of Nature and Science.”