Episode 31

The Growing Impact of Women in STEM featuring the Digital Divas


In today’s episode, we dive into taking a deeper look at the Digital Divas program, a STEM initiative founded at Eastern Michigan University that’s dedicated to introducing young girls to the STEM field. I’m joined by Skip Lawver, Paulette Avolio, Bia Hamed, Stephanie Price, and Katelyn Coberley, five of the program’s volunteers who sit down with me today to talk about the importance of the program’s work, why the STEM field needs women and greater diversity, and the benefits of a career in STEM. 

Diversity is key to their program and so they strive to bring in women of all ages, backgrounds, and ethnicities so that the students can see women who may resemble themselves

My guests today begin by talking about the goals of the Digital Divas program. Not only is it designed to offer girls the kinds of hands-on experiences they don’t normally get in a classroom, but the workshops of the program are led by women with degrees in the STEM field who can then act as role models to the girls they are teaching. The group explains how diversity is key to their program and that because of this, they strive to bring in women of all ages, backgrounds, and ethnicities so that the students can see women who may resemble themselves. 

Digital Divas is also dedicated to breaking the common stereotypes associated with the STEM field so as to help girls keep an open mind about the career opportunities they may pursue in the future

The program is also dedicated to breaking the common stereotypes associated with the STEM field so as to help girls keep an open mind about the career opportunities they may pursue in the future. They explain that often girls have skills they don’t even realize that in the future could make them an excellent project manager, developer, computer programmer, etc., and Digital Divas helps its students explore these possibilities and develop the self-esteem and confidence to pursue them. 

Currently, only about 20% of the degrees in the STEM field are earned by women but that the perspectives of women are critical when it comes to designing and creating everyday products.

Not only do those involved with Digital Divas see the program benefiting its students, but they also see it as critical to the future of the STEM field as a whole. Currently, only about 20% of the degrees in the STEM field are earned by women but that the perspectives of women are critical when it comes to designing and creating everyday products. Because of this, the field needs to be filled by people from a diversity of backgrounds so that together they can approach problems from various perspectives and come up with the best and most innovative solutions. 

While critical thinking and problem-solving are two of the key skills taught in the STEM field, the team explains that to begin in the field, it is most important to just be curious and persistent. 

For those who may be interested in pursuing a STEM career of their own, the Digital Divas team talks about the variety and abundance of opportunities the field offers, how many STEM companies are extremely supportive of their employees and their passions, and how you can often start working in a STEM career even while still completing your degree. While critical thinking and problem-solving are two of the key skills taught in the STEM field, the team explains that to begin in the field, it is most important to just be curious and persistent. 

To learn more about the Digital Divas program and its workshops or the promising opportunities available to those pursuing a career in STEM, be sure to listen in! 

“With Digital Divas, we’re always trying to build that culture of girls in STEM. We want girls to come and feel like they belong and get to explore STEM without any intimidation.” – Bia Hamed, Digital Divas
OTHER TOP QUOTES FROM THIS EPISODE

“It’s investing in that curiosity and confidence in people of all sorts, and I think Digital Divas plays a great role in developing that confidence for young women who may not have that role model or that experience.” – Katelyn Coberley, Threat Intelligence Professional

“It’s been proven, there’s research, that women care more about society. So when we make those choices, we think about everybody. We’re inclusive of everybody.”  – Bia Hamed, Digital Divas

Connect with Digital Divas

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