How can future workforces bloom through STEM?

Women and minorities make up only 20% of the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce. That lack of diversity in STEM limits our potential for innovation. Discover what the corporate world can do to help bring more diverse perspectives to STEM and unlock the innovative solutions that can build a better working world

In recent years, governments around the world have highlighted a shortfall of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workers. Of current STEM graduates, only an estimated 20% are women or from minority groups. Lee Ann Kline of EY wants to change that. She founded STEM Advantage, a not-for-profit program that prepares and inspires young women and underserved minorities of all genders to pursue STEM careers through paid internships, mentorships and scholarships.

To date, more than 1,000 young people have gone through the program in the US. The focus is on students in public universities, and the program provides them with networks, mentors, career advisors and funding that they otherwise might not have access to. For many, they are the first in their families to go to college. While in the program, they are constantly challenged to think about how they might help others from similar backgrounds who want to pursue STEM careers.

All the operational and administrative costs of the scholarships are covered by STEM Advantage’s board, which comprises leading executives from many of the US firm’s biggest clients in California. The program was launched at the Dominguez Hills and Los Angeles campuses of California State University (CSU), and its goal — “23 by 2023” — is to be established at all 23 CSU campuses by 2023.