Think Pink in October and Beyond: Women’s Health and STEM Opportunities are a 12-Month Challenge

Posted by Global Convergence on October 25, 2016 at 10:48 AM

Orange and black have long been colors associated with October, but for the last few years there’s a new color dominating the autumn season—pink.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and everyone from NFL players to the United States Navy annually sport pink fashion (check out this pink jet fighter) to support the cause. At Global Convergence, we held our own “Wear Pink” day on Friday, Oct. 14, encouraging employees to support breast cancer by wearing the new “seasonal” attire. Dozens joined in and we thank everyone who “pinked-out” for a great cause. You can read more here for a great history of how pink became associated with breast cancer awareness.

Each year, all the efforts raise millions of dollars, much of the funds used to help develop new technologies to prevent and fight breast cancer. As an IT distributor specializing in emerging, innovative and disruptive products and services, we understand how important technology is—in any industry.

Supporting Technology for All

 October is also STEM Awareness Month in many communities, a time when many businesses look to attract young students toward more science, technology, engineering and math careers, hoping to inspire the next generation of technology innovators.

STEM is also a cause that we hold dear here at Global Convergence. In the past several months, our new human resources director has attended numerous career fairs and helped bring in several interns as a means to support careers in technology. It’s vital that we keep students interested in science and technology—especially young girls.

There’s long been a disproportionate shortage of females pursuing STEM careers. The National Center for Women in Information Technology notes that 57% of bachelor’s degrees awarded in 2014 went to women. However, only 17% of computer and information sciences degree recipients that year went to women. And females comprised only 25% of the computing workforce last year.

A Year-Round Challenge

Attracting and recruiting women is a key priority for GCI and should be for all tech companies. Of course, there are challenges. This article notes a recent study that code change suggestions by women are more likely to be accepted by those made by men, but only if their gender is hidden. So there’s still a lot of work to be done.

In the article, Annie Ryan, director of diversity and inclusion at Speak With a Geek, also notes that awareness is the first step toward enacting change. Sound familiar?

While breast cancer and women pursuing STEM careers may seem to have nothing in common, clearly awareness is a hot-button issue for both. I also think they’re equally important. We want our mothers, sisters, daughters and friends to remain healthy. We also want them to feel like they will have equal opportunities in STEM careers. While there may not be a pink ribbon to raise awareness for women in STEM, let’s not forget that they’re both important causes—and not just in October.

 

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