Girls are a Force for our Future

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In 2012, the United Nations established International Day of the Girl Child. The 2019 theme is “GirlForce: unscripted and unstoppable” and celebrates the achievements by, with and for girls.

At Dell Technologies, we believe that girls are unstoppable and our social impact strategy includes a wide-reaching focus on improving lives and advancing opportunities for youth. Empowering girls (and women) is critical to business and workforce success—companies with top gender diversity are 21% more likely to have financial returns above industry peers.[1] However, we realize that we still have a long way to go before girls can achieve true parity in STEM fields: When asked to describe a typical scientist, engineer, mathematician, or computer programmer, 30% percent of girls say that they envision a man in these roles.[2] In high-tech jobs, women account for only 18% of software developers, applications and systems software roles and 4.2% of computer network architects.[3]

Despite the clear gap for girls in STEM fields, I do believe, at Dell Technologies, we are making significant strides. I am inspired by Dell team members around the world who provide young women the skills, experiences and examples to fulfill their highest potential and have a tangible impact on the world. I want to highlight a few examples of our team member impact:

  • In the United States, Dell sponsors the Utah SheTech Explorer Day, which engages 2,400 young women attendees. At the 2019 event, 40+ Dell team members volunteered 150+ hours to mentor, teach and introduce girls to Dell’s technology capabilities. In Massachusetts, Dell teams hosted young women from Girls Who Code, Girls Inc and Science Club for Girls to participate in hands-on workshops on topics, such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Augmented Reality, Design Thinking, Cybersecurity and Data Visualization as well as the opportunity to hear from passionate young women STEM professionals.
  • In China, the team sponsors the Women in Technology (WIT) Forum on Campus. This program encourages female university students to pursue academic and professional development in STEM fields. Since its launch, more than 50,000 female students have benefited and many have joined Dell Technologies as intern and full-time employees.
  • In India, Dell’s youth learning program provides technology access and digital literacy training. It has directly impacted 150,000 students, 40% of whom are girls. In addition to training, the team also ensures girls have a safe and healthy environment. One inspiring story is that of Gangamma, who had previously dropped out of school due to lack of clean water, sanitation facilities and technology resources at her school. Since Dell’s involvement, Gangamma has returned to school, is thriving in her courses, plays competitive sports and aims to be a school teacher one day so that she can inspire the next generation of students.
  • In Ireland, Dell and VMware co-sponsored the 2019 I WISH conference, which reached 6,000 young female students in Dublin and Cork. I WISH is an initiative to inspire, encourage and motivate young female students to pursue STEM careers.

The work of global Dell teams to advance girls is unquestionably inspiring. But, it is also absolutely necessary if we expect to change STEM industry diversity. Research shows a direct correlation between STEM exposure in girls and their STEM professional ambitions—74% of middle school girls who participate in STEM clubs and activities are likely to study computer science in high school versus 48% of those who do not. Girls who engage in STEM activities in high school are 2.5 times more likely to want to continue studying computer science in college.[4]

We have a societal and corporate responsibility to ensure that girls have the same opportunities to learn, grow and have a “seat at the table”, particularly in STEM fields where they continue to be underrepresented. Today and every day, let’s share our skills with and mentorship for girls so that they may be a force for our future.

Show Your Support – #MarchForSisterhood Campaign

  • The #MarchForSisterhood campaign is a ‘digital march’ inviting girls (and their allies) to stand up for what matters to them. The campaign was created by 100+ members of Girls Who Code, one of Dell’s strategic STEM nonprofit partners. Read more here.
  • Pledging to take part in this campaign takes less than five minutes. To engage, create a short 30-second video about your passion and post it on social media on Oct. 11 using the hashtag #MarchForSisterhood – be sure to retweet and share videos from fellow supporters! While this is called a “march,” it’s also fine to just stand and speak to the camera.

Students engage in a Dell virtual reality experience at the 2019 SheTech Explorer Day in Utah.

High school girls in the U.S. gain skills in key technologies, such as data visualization.

Dell’s Women In Action (WIA) group hosted Girls Who Code members at the U.S. Massachusetts corporate campus.

Dell’s India team empowers young women, such as Gangamma (pictured here), to gain technology skills and also address basic life needs, such as clean sanitation and drinking water.

Dell’s China team has impacted 50,000 female university students to consider STEM careers.

Dell and VMWare co-sponsored the 2019 I Wish event in Ireland and impacted 6,000 students.
Photo Credit: @CWITirl / CWITIreland

[1] McKinsey & Co, 2015

[2] Microsoft Study, 2018

[3] U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018

[4] Microsoft Study, 2018

About the Author: Christina Crowley

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