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$25 million commitment builds coalition to increase women in STEM

March 07, 2019

In an effort to close the gender gap in STEM, a $25 million commitment from the Lyda Hill Foundation will help to build a coalition of science institutions along with names and brands in popular culture to help fund and elevate women in STEM fields. The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), one of the coalition members, will select 100 women in STEM professions to serve as ambassadors for the new IF/THEN Initiative, to help build skills and opportunities among middle school girls in science communication, public engagement, media, diversity and inclusion, and STEM education.

In announcing the new initiative, IF/THEN cites the fact that women constitute about half of the college-educated workforce in the U.S., but just a quarter of STEM professionals are female. That gender gap affects perceptions of women in STEM and trickles down to younger generations, who do not have as many female role models to follow. The IF/THEN Initiative is working to “empower current STEM innovators and inspire the next generation of pioneers.” It counts National Geographic Society, U.S. Soccer, Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and others — in addition to AAAS — as coalition members.

stem, women