More than 1,000 middle-school girls have joined ExxonMobil for the company’s 16th annual Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day, which aims to inspire female students to consider engineering as a career.
Over several days, employees from ExxonMobil and its subsidiary XTO Energy across the United States led students through interactive activities that range from chemistry to physics. More than 15,000 students have participated in Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day activities since the program’s inception in 2003.
In Dallas, students and ExxonMobil employees gathered at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science to participate in hands-on experiments and discussions that show the wide variety of engineering career options available.
“Engineers are changing the world every day, and we want to capture young girls’ imaginations at an early age to show them the exciting careers this field offers,” says Sara Ortwein, civil engineer and president of ExxonMobil affiliate XTO Energy.
“This program helps show young girls and women that engineering is a fulfilling career and will hopefully contribute to closing the gender gap that currently exists in the field,” Ortwein says.
According to a 2017 National Science Foundation study, only 250,000 US women were employed in engineering positions, compared with nearly 1.5 million men. Less than 20% of bachelor’s degrees in engineering were awarded to women.
Part of DiscoverE’s annual Girl Day campaign, Introduce a Girl to Engineering is associated with one of ExxonMobil’s signature efforts that serves to improve education and raise awareness of the need for more young people to consider engineering as a profession. Special emphasis is geared toward underrepresented populations.