Twitter is now specifically focusing on increasing black, Latinx and female representation


Twitter met or surpassed many of the diversity and inclusion goals it set for itself for 2017, the company announced today. Twitter is now 38.4 percent female, compared to 37 percent in 2016. Regarding underrepresented minorities at Twitter, representation increased from 11 percent in 2016 to 12.5 percent in 2017.

While Twitter increased the overall representation of women and underrepresented minorities, it missed its goals for overall representation of underrepresented minorities, as well as underrepresented minorities in technical roles. At the leadership level, Twitter went from 30 percent female in 2016 to 32.5 percent female in 2017, and underrepresented minorities now account for 10.1 percent of employees at the leadership level, compared to just 6 percent in 2016.

Moving forward, Twitter intends to set two-year goals but will continue its practice of releasing yearly diversity reports. The rationale for the two-year period, Twitter VP of Intersectionality, Culture and Diversity Candi Castleberry Singleton explained in a blog post, is to better enable Twitter to assess its progress, “develop specific programming, and adapt our strategies along the way.”

Twitter is also now specifically looking at increasing the representation of women, black and Latinx people — groups that continue to be underrepresented in tech. Twitter is 3.4 percent black, 3.4 percent Latinx and 38.4 percent female. By 2019, Twitter wants to be 43 percent female, 5 percent black and 5 percent Latinx.

“We’re focused on powering positive change by fostering respectful conversations, creating deeper human connections, and encouraging diverse interactions across the company,” Singleton wrote in a blog post. “We’re calling this strategy Intersectionality, Culture and Diversity (ICD) and we’re making it a part of everything we do at Twitter.”

Continue onto TechCrunch to read the complete article.

Mae Jemison: Diversity In STEM Isn’t A Nicety, It’s A Necessity

mae jemison

The first African-American woman in space discusses her agricultural science initiative.

Dr. Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman in space, knows firsthand the importance of exposing kids to STEM topics early. She also knows the significance of having kids see themselves in movies, on TV, and in certain careers.

“It means making sure that people get those images that show they have those things available to them,” Jemison told HuffPost.

Jemison is collaborating on “Science Matters,” an initiative to encourage kids of all ages and backgrounds to pursue agricultural science from pharmaceutical and life science company Bayer and youth development organization National 4-H Council. Jemison, a physician and chemical engineer, knows the field of agricultural science can sound intimidating, but she and Jennifer Sirangelo, CEO and president of the National 4-H Council, have set out to change that.

Digging into agricultural science can be as simple as asking, “Where does my food come from?” An increasingly popular way to kick-start this sort of interest is through urban gardens, Jemison explained.

“There’s nothing more exciting to see something growing ― and you can eat it!” Jemison said. “That’s something parents can do with their kids as well.”

Sirangelo agreed, noting that agricultural science is more than horticulture and animal science and has huge applications for our future.

“The need to produce more food with fewer resources over the coming decades is going to push our science even further,” she told HuffPost.

As Jemison put it, we need to prepare our kids “to not just survive, but thrive.”

Bringing more children into STEM topics like agricultural science isn’t enough, though. Diversity is imperative, especially for women and people of color, groups underrepresented in these fields, Jemison said.

“We’re losing talent and we’re losing capability by not including them,” she told HuffPost. “When people think about why it is important to have a diversity of talent in a field, they think of it as a nicety. No, it’s a necessity. We get better solutions.”

Continue onto the HuffingtonPost to read the complete article.

A Wrinkle in Time creators encourage girls to channel their inner warriors, pursue their dreams

a wrinkle in time movie poster

HP joined Ava DuVernay and Reese Witherspoon to celebrate Black Girls Code and its mission to boost women of color in tech.

Everything starts with a story. Just ask Sasha Williams, a 16-year old with big dreams. On Feb. 24th, Williams didn’t just get a selfie — she got a hug and words of encouragement from Ava DuVernay, the directing powerhouse whose work, from 13th to Selma, tackles inclusion and racial division head on and continues to find new ways to define the art of storytelling.

The occasion was an event organized by HP, Disney and Nissan to bring together girls from Black Girls Code, a nonprofit that nurtures the tech skills of girls of color, to celebrate the release of DuVernay’s big-budget film, A Wrinkle in Time. With seven chapters in the U.S. and South Africa for girls 7 to 17, Black Girls Code runs after-school programs, summer camps and hackathons where local groups build projects ranging from websites to robots.

Giddy and tearful, Williams was electrified by her encounter with the director. “I’ve always looked up to [Ava]” says the young California native, who hopes to one day become a virtual-reality game designer. “And now, for her to take on this story about a little black girl trying to become a warrior, about being who you are, it’s just really inspiring.”

Williams wasn’t the only one energized by the moment. At the event, part coding challenge/part affirmation, 40 or so girls were treated to the first public showing of the film, as well as talks with several of the movie’s stars, including Storm Reid, who plays the story’s hero, Meg Murry; Reese Witherspoon; Chris Pine; and Gugu Mbatha-Raw.

A movement to create the leaders of tomorrow

“Just like a lot of you, my daughter just wanted to be able to create the games she was engaging in,” said Kimberly Bryant, the founder of Black Girls Code, while leading a panel at the event. She began BGC in 2011 out of frustration when her then-12-year-old daughter, Kia, started going to tech programs and camps — and found she was the only black girl in the room. It was a scenario that Bryant, who had a successful career in biotech, knew all too well. “My frustration grew into a movement that now, hopefully, will help all of you become the leaders that much older engineers like myself will look up to in the coming years.”

Continue onto the HP Newsroom to read the complete article.

Odette Harris named America’s second female African-American neurosurgery professor at Stanford

African american female neurosurgeon

Odette Harris M.D. ’96 has made history by becoming America’s second African-American female professor of neurosurgery.Stanford’s department of neurosurgery announced her promotion on Tuesday.

Harris joins Lu Chen as the second female professor in the department of neurosurgery at the School of Medicine.

Harris, who specializes in traumatic brain injury, has served as the director of brain injury in the department of neurosurgery and the associate chief of staff of polytrauma and rehabilitation at the Palo Alto Veterans Administration Health Care System since 2009. Harris is also a Clayman Institute Faculty Research Fellow and was awarded the William P. Van Wagenen Fellowship Award from the American Association of Neurological Surgeons.

Harris said she developed a passion for the physical sciences and chemistry while studying at an all-girls high school.

“All those cliches about girl schools and empowering girls and women, I think they’re true,” Harris said in an interview with Stanford Medicine.

During her undergraduate years at Dartmouth College, Harris said she sought to surround herself with “strong women.”

It was not until she attended Stanford School of Medicine that she said she experienced a “turning point both in terms of gender and race.” Harris was the only black woman in the School of Medicine’s class of 1996. She was also one of only two women during her neurosurgical residency at Stanford University Medical Center.

Nonetheless, Harris described her experience in medical school and residency as a positive one.

“My mentor was a white man who is blond and as East Coast as can be,” Harris said. “His skin color was irrelevant, as was mine to his experience of mentoring me.”

Continue onto Stanford University’s Newsroom to read the complete article.

NASA’s Real Life ‘Hidden Figure’ On How To Advance Women In STEM

christyl johnson from nasa

“There are so many women that are capable, smart, sharp and good at what they do. What they are lacking is the opportunity to sit across the table from the other minds that are coming up with the innovative solutions,” says Dr. Christyl Johnson, NASA’s Deputy Director for Technology and Research Investments.

Dr. Johnson joined NASA in the summer of 1985 and over the years she has dedicated her efforts to support young women in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.)

Described as a ‘modern figure’ Dr. Johnson is regularly likened to the characters in the movie Hidden Figures. The film portrays the experience of Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughn and Mary Jackson – three talented African-American women – who worked at NASA Langley in 1961.

The movie tackles important issues like institutional racism and sexism.  Dr. Johnson says it highlights the importance of diversity in innovation. “If anyone wants to make leaps and advances in their organization it is paramount that they bring different perspectives to the table,” she says.

In this interview, Dr. Johnson shares the lessons she has learned throughout her career at NASA and how each of us can support the advancement of women in STEM.

Michelle King: Do you see yourself in the movie Hidden Figures?

Dr. Johnson: Although things have significantly improved at NASA since the times represented in Hidden Figures, I too have experienced similar struggles with racism and sexism.  I resonate with the women in the movie because I see them as strong African American women who were determined to succeed despite their circumstances. That determination is what has gotten me to where I am today. NASA has identified me as a ‘modern figure’, so I hope that I and the other ‘modern figures’ continue to inspire our young girls to see themselves in that movie, and in STEM careers.

King: What are some of the challenges that you’ve faced in your career as a woman in STEM?

Dr. Johnson: One of the biggest challenges I have had as a woman in STEM is breaking into the “boys network.” For many years at NASA, and other scientific organizations the makeup has been mostly white males. Even when women bring unique solutions to the table, it can take twice as much work for them to gain the respect of their male counterparts.  I can recall being in meetings and asking a question only to have the male answering the question look at the other males in the room while answering my question.

I am fortunate that NASA has been at the forefront of supporting women in technical fields, as shown in the movie Hidden Figures. With the support of some of my male and female mentors, I have grown and blossomed at NASA. With all of that said, we still have a little way to go for women to have an equal seat at the table.  Not only do the appropriate organizational policies need to be in place, but appropriate, respectful behavior must be the norm – starting with the leadership at the top.

King: How do we ensure that women have an equal seat at the table?

Dr. Johnson: We need to make sure women have high visibility assignments. So many times you hear people say that, ‘We didn’t have any good women candidates.’  Even if we were to have diverse selection panels to ensure fairness in the selection process, you can’t hire women if they have not had those high-profile assignments that show their leadership capability.

Continue onto Forbes to read the complete article.

Here’s how NASCAR’s top female engineer is giving back to her native Puerto Rico


In the über-macho, rough-and-tumble world of race car driving, the top female engineer in NASCAR is blazing quite a path and using it to give back to her native Puerto Rico.

“When I went to the university it was mostly guys, so the fact that I’m in a job where it’s mostly guys seems normal to me,” said Alba Colón, Chevrolet Racing Program Manager for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Program, General Motors’ most visible racing program.

Colón oversees the engineers who test the engines and designs for the NASCAR drivers. “I fell in love with drag racing and I didn’t realize at the time that I was the first female, the first Latin American,” said Colón, who describes herself as a “worker bee” who is aware of her pioneering role.

“Every day I go to my job and I think, people are looking because you are representing something that is not the usual thing,” she told NBC News. “I take this job with a lot of pride.”

Colón is a graduate of the prestigious engineering program at the University of Puerto Rico’s Mayagüez campus, in the western part of the island. UPR-Mayagüez has long been known for its science and math degrees and is a hub for U.S.-based recruiters.

General Motors hired Colón in 1994 as a data acquisition engineer, and since 2001 she has been with the company’s NASCAR cup series.

For years, Colón has been closely associated with recruiting and retaining graduates from her alma mater in Puerto Rico to come work for General Motors. After the devastation of Hurricane Maria, this role taken on even more importance.

Young people in the island, said Colón, are “very anxious” to get jobs, summer jobs and internships lined up.

“They are very smart and hard workers. They don’t have a lot of resources compared to other universities in the states, but they take the same classes and they have to find how to make things happen with the little resources that they have,” said Colón. “Those are skills we look at, that passion to make things happen.”

Continue onto NBC News to read the complete article.

Meet Danielle Olson: A ‘Gique’ Advancing the Case for STEAM Education

Danielle Olson

What is a “Gique”? It’s a cross between “geek” and “chic,” a maker and creative problem-solver whose interdisciplinary interests turn STEM into STEAM. Meet Danielle Olson, researcher and PhD student at MIT and proud founder of Gique, a nonprofit that provides transformational, culturally situated STEAM learning for underserved youth.

Olson says being a Gique is about using your passion to embrace change and create your dream job. Olson offered STEMconnector her insights and experience as an engineer, a dancer, a dreamer, and pioneer in STEAM education, as well as research on how the arts are leveling the educational playing field in STEM.

Interview below courtesy of Stemconnector

STEMconnector: How does using the arts impact the STEM talent gap?

Danielle Olson: Fortunately, a new and exciting field of education is emerging where curricula are designed to expose youth to the applications of science, technology, engineering, art and design, and mathematics (STEAM) in the real world. STEAM, rather than just STEM, education focuses on student cultivation of the critical, creative, and participatory dispositions key to empowered, authentic engagement in both science and art, along with preparing students to think of ways that they can contribute to society as individuals.

The arts have been treated as a “cherry on top” in recent years. But research demonstrates that an arts education offers critical development opportunities for children, which include cognitive and social growth, long-term memory improvement, stress reduction, and promotion of creativity. In fact, research findings show that if arts were included in science classes, STEM would be more appealing to students, and exposure to experts in these fields could affect career decisions. Gique believes that STEAM education affords students opportunities to envision themselves pursuing their “dream careers,” which they may invent for themselves.

There are three categories that aid in representing various perspectives of art integration: (1) learning “through” and “with” the arts, (2) making connections across knowledge domains, and (3) collaborative engagement across disciplines.

Gique piloted a 9-month-long, out-of-school STEAM Program with students at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester, an inner-city in Boston, Massachusetts, in the areas of science, the arts, and entrepreneurship by putting the theoretical framework, which underpins the necessity for STEAM education, into action.

SC: What kinds of lessons do you offer students?

DO: Gique designs and provides free, hands-on educational programs and mentorship to talented youth from diverse circumstances in the Boston area and in California. We create a safe, positive learning community for our students and cultivate their curiosity and self-esteem through two arms of programming:

  • Gique’s Science Can DANCE! Community Programs—provides youth with a way to explore STEAM through creative movement and dance choreography. By taking an integrated approach to breaking down technical concepts, we provide a unique mentorship opportunity for students interested in both arts and science topics.
  • Gique’s Out-of-School Time (OST) STEAM Program—a 9-month-long, weekly after-school program for middle school students to explore their personal interests in STEAM. This program enables students to receive long-term mentorship from innovators from around the world and participate in hands-on workshops and field trips. By the end of the semester, students gain a better understanding of how they can take an idea from concept to reality through innovation with art + design, science, and technology.

In addition to these two programs, Gique has provided a wide variety of educational opportunities to people of all ages in the Boston area for the past four years. We have collaborated with numerous organizations to provide educational programming, including MIT Museum, Harvard Museum of Science & Culture, Artisan’s Asylum, and General Assembly Boston.

SC: How can corporations that support a vibrant STEM workforce get involved in advancing STEAM education?

DO: First, corporations should stand with teachers and parents to fight back against policies that discourage interdisciplinary education. This may include, but is not limited to, policies that result in art, drama, history, and science class time reduction and policies, which discourage teachers from being innovative due to too much focus on standardized testing.

Second, people in power must use their influence to help give underrepresented groups more access to resources that can level the playing field in education. I had access to programs like FIRST Robotics Competition and MIT’s Minority Introduction to Engineering and Science Program, which changed my life, thanks to the generosity of donors investing directly in people of color by sponsoring these programs. However, I wouldn’t have been able to participate in these programs if I had to pay for them. That’s why Gique leverages the support of its sponsors to deliver life-changing experiences to students that help them pursue career dreams that they may have deemed impossible.

SC: How is Gique measuring its impact?

DO: We have a structured process in place to design, administer, and analyze quantitative and qualitative measurements, including pre- and post- assessments, audio/video interviews, and external feedback (from program staff/volunteers and parents/guardians).

Specifically, for Gique’s OST STEAM Program, a schema was developed to identify, both broadly and specifically, what students learned and in what context it applies to their lives. Prior to each term, the program leadership developed several goals for student impact, with measurable indicators to assess each goal. Assessment questions were adapted from the Museum of Science Boston’s Engineering is Elementary program assessment model. At the end of the semester, students completed the same assessment for the program leadership to understand what deltas occurred and what the development areas were for program improvement.

While the quantitative data collected often helped to inform strategic decisions and content choices, the qualitative data showed how the program impacted students, parents, volunteers and teachers. Gique wholeheartedly believes that learning experiences should be fun, so asking these qualitative questions were critical to the development and success of the pilot OST STEAM program.

Gaining parent/guardian feedback served to be an excellent indicator of how excited students were about the program.

Visit Gique’s community of leaders and makers at


Karlie Kloss on Coding, Women in Tech, and Breaking the Glass Ceiling


Coding is the language of the future. It’s the first step to launching that innovative app or program that will change the world, but as Karlie Kloss discovered, not enough women speak it. In an effort to create a level playing field, she launched Kode With Klossy, an organization that arms women with the tools they need to enter the tech world. What started as a free summer coding camp became a powerful network uniting women in tech. Now it awards career scholarships to young female developers and touts itself as a national community.Kode With Klossy’s success proves what we’ve known all along: When women support each other, incredible things can happen. In a candid conversation with Kode With Klossy camper Torie Pfau, 18, Karlie shares her thoughts on coding, succeeding in a male-dominated field, and why it’s important to get into your panic zone.

TORIE PFAU: Why did you want to learn how to code?

KARLIE KLOSS: I wanted to understand the secret language of code and how things worked. Whether it’s social media, apps, software, or hardware, to understand how technology built it is fascinating. I also wanted to know if this was something that I could learn. I started Kode With Klossy because as my mind opened to understanding how mighty coding is, I wanted to share that with you..

TP: I remember how nervous I was on my first day of Kode With Klossy but also how supportive and communal the environment was. It’s so exciting and empowering that while I entered feeling nervous, I left feeling endlessly inspired. How did you feel at your first coding class, and how important was building a community like that?

KK: The community component of Kode With Klossy is one of the most powerful parts of the whole experience. That aspect was something that I never realized was going to be a part of what we were building: this idea of wanting to create opportunities for other girls to learn how to code and understand the capability of tech and how it can open doors for anyone. It becomes this network, this family, this community of like-minded, passionate, determined young women, and that is something I am so inspired by.

TP: It’s like we build programs, but we also build friendships that hopefully last even longer. There’s real magic in a room where girls are constantly aiding and investing in each other. How important is women backing one another to you, and how do you see it influencing the future for women in this male-dominated field?

KK: It’s such an important and necessary thing. I feel really lucky that I’ve had the guidance of my sisters, my mom, the strong women in my family my whole life. But also throughout my career, I’ve had the support of friends, whether they’re my peers or mentors, women older than me who have been incredible friends and advocates. They’ve really shaped who I’ve become. It’s important to share that kind of friendship and mentorship. It’s like this amazing gift that keeps on giving, because when you are that friend or mentor to somebody else, that is a gift that they then want to share. Do you feel like there was a lot of help in the classroom?

TP: One hundred percent, in the classroom and then outside. We talk a lot about the panic zone and the learning zone in Kode With Klossy, the learning zone being the ring directly outside your comfort zone that’s challenging but still manageable, and the panic zone being miles out, where you’re panicking but pushing yourself beyond your wildest dreams. When do you find yourself in those zones, either professionally or in the classroom, and what have you learned from them?

KK: It’s such an important lesson in life to be aware of your comfort zone, but also to not be complacent or afraid to go into your panic zone. When you go into your panic zone, it actually makes you want to keep learning and be open to new ideas. Sometimes that’s scary at first, but eventually the panic zone is no longer scary, and the things that were challenges become things that you conquer. So what used to be your panic zone is now your comfort zone. It’s this amazing analogy for life that is applicable in so many directions. What’s important, too, about the panic zone is that even when you’re in it, in the classroom or in life, you’re never totally alone in the deep end. You know you have the support around you of a teacher, a TA, or the person next to you, whom you can ask for help or relate to the fact that they’re also struggling with the same thing.

Continue onto Teen Vogue to read the complete article.

81-year-old woman makes iPhone app after only starting to use computers at 60


If you laugh at how older people use computers, this 81-year-old from Japan is going to set you straight.

Masako Wakamiya is making the news for an app she created to show people the correct way to place their traditional doll displays ahead of Hinamatsuri, or Girl’s Day, in Japan.

Wakamiya is a former banker who clocked 43 years of service at a major Japanese bank, and only learned how to use computers when she was 60.

In the app, named Hinadan — a combination of the words hina, a type of doll, and dan, meaning “tier” — the player must position 12 dolls in their correct positions on a display with four tiers.

After the player finishes the game, a congratulatory message pops up.

In an email to Mashable, Wakamiya said that she was taught by a “young person” living in Sendai, northeast of Tokyo, who taught her Apple’s Swift programming language via Skype and Facebook Messenger. The images in the app are made by her friend with the shapes on Microsoft Office, she added.

“The reason for making this applications is that many smartphone apps are for young people and [there] are almost no apps that the elderly can enjoy,” she said. “I [would] encourage [old people] to start having fun experiences using computers.”

Wakamiya’s blog features tutorials on how to make art with Excel, and publishes vlogs from her travels to the Mediterranean and New Zealand.

The vibrant lady also runs a club for other retirees on active ageing called the Mellow Club.

Here she is featured at a TEDx talk in Tokyo, where she talked about active ageing in the digital world.

Continue onto Mashable to read the complete article.

Cracking the code: how to get more women into computing


Computer programming jobs are growing 12% faster than the market average – here’s how business and society can encourage more women into the profession.

The schooling may be hard, but the opportunities are broad. As a coder, you could just as easily find yourself working for a hot tech start up as you could a high street fashion brand. And since a report from Burning Glass revealed that programming jobs grew 12% faster than the market average, these opportunities will keep on coming.

This is great for skilled job seekers, but tricky for employers. As the present tries to catch up with the future, there’s more demand for people who can code than there is supply. Fortunately, pathways exist for women to break in, through education programmes, university recruitment and businesses who foster and support women into the field.

Start as you mean to go on

While computing-related fields are a major growth area, non-profit organisation Girls Who Code notes that by 2020 women are on track to fill a mere 3% of these jobs in the US. In the UK women account for just 21% of the country’s science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) workforce, with only 3% saying tech is their first choice career, according to PwC. This is stark news for today’s female coders, but it’s also an opportunity for the future. One of the clear ways to close the skills gap is to pave the way for women, starting when they are still girls.

Parents across the UK who are signing their children up to after-school programmes will know that coding clubs are a way to nurture young, prospective tech leaders. Within a single term, today’s children will be able to code instructions and create their own computer games.

nd it’s more than after-school; coding has been embedded into the UK school curriculum since 2013. As reported by the Guardian’s Stuart Dredge, Michael Gove, the education secretary at the time, said that the revised curriculum teaches children “not just how to work a computer, but how a computer works and how to make it work for you”.

Echoing a similar ethos, Melissa Sariffodeen, co-founder and CEO of Ladies Learning Code, is committed to sharing the language of coding to women and girls to “help us understand, harness and build – not just consume technology”.

“Learning to code is like learning any new language. While the barriers to start are really low, to become proficient and a strong developer requires practice,” says Sariffodeen. “Technology is always changing and evolving so there’s always something to learn and keep on top. That is what makes the industry and roles so dynamic for so many people – including women.”

Pique the interest of the best and brightest

As an industry with its own language, coding can be intimidating to outsiders. That’s why university fairs have become an opportunity for tech companies to present not just themselves as great employers, but to attract new talent that would not necessarily identify themselves as techies.

“Attracting a diverse workforce must start in schools and at universities,” says Sheridan Ash, who heads up PwC’s Women in Technology programme. “We want to get the message out early about the broad opportunities of working in technology which go well beyond the stereotypes.”

Continue onto The Guardian to read the complete article.

How The Girl Scouts CEO Went From Rocket Scientist To America’s Biggest Champion Of Girls


There are moments that Sylvia Acevedo, CEO of the Girl Scouts of the USA, just can’t forget.

There was the time a college counselor at her high school in Las Cruces, New Mexico, scoffed at Acevedo’s desire to study engineering. “Girls like you don’t go to college,” she recalls the counselor saying, in a reference to her Mexican ethnicity. 

And there was the time when Acevedo won a competitive four-year scholarship to study engineering, but the male judges were so incredulous of her abilities, they insisted on interviewing her personally. Acevedo remembers one of the judges saying she represented change, and “change for the sake of change is not progress.”

These experiences might have deterred Acevedo from going on to become one of the first female Hispanic rocket scientists in the country, were it not for the Girl Scouts. Years before the college counselor and the scholarship judge undermined and mocked Acevedo’s potential, she’d already discovered her aptitude for science — along with her confidence — thanks to the Girl Scouts.

“I always had the possibility of success,” she says, “but because of the inflection point of Girl Scouts in my life, it made the success a probability.”

Now, Acevedo is one of the most influential public figures urging girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math. She sat on the Girl Scouts board for years and officially became the organization’s president earlier this year, after holding the position on an interim basis.

Last week, she took center stage at Dreamforce, the annual software conference hosted by Salesforce, and made an incredible pitch: Help Girl Scouts raise $70 million so that it can move more than 2.5 million girls into the STEM pipeline by 2025.

Though the initiative reflects the long-term shift toward a STEM economy, it also seems like an ambitious gambit to increase Girl Scouts membership, which dipped in recent years and stands at 1.8 million girls and 800,000 adults. Fewer volunteers and families increasingly pressed for time and money have played a part in the membership downturn.

Drawing in new Girl Scouts is even more urgent given the Boy Scouts’ recent decision to bring girls into its ranks. So the hyper focus on STEM isn’t just a natural instinct for Acevedo; it’s also a savvy move to make the Girl Scouts stand out — not only from the Boy Scouts but from the narrative that all Girl Scouts does is sell cookies. That hasn’t been the case since the organization’s founding, but Acevedo knows that cookie sales are how most people encounter Girl Scouts.

Continue onto Mashable to read the complete article.