New website strives to help women in STEM fields
July 13, 2012 ·
Two women in Morgantown have created a new website designed to help women who are entering or want to enter careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Casey Cid and Lynn Dombrowski are two business owners who come from technology backgrounds.
Cid works in marketing and Dombrowski in training; but the two women share a common goal: to help connect women with careers in what are considered STEM fields-science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Both women live in Morgantown and have just launched a website, www.stemploy.com.
Its aim is to help women foster careers in those fields. Casey Cid says this campaign is a labor of love.
"I think that we’ll be able to identify if we’re being successful or not when we become the go-to resource for women in STEM. I think it’s going to start in the state of West Virginia, but I think it’s going to quickly grow, and also I think if we become the leader in redefining the perception of women in the fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics. I think there’s a definite underutilization of women in the fields of STEM," Cid said.
The website designers hope to attract not only people, but businesses who want to hire in STEM fields.
STEMPLOY has also launched an internship program, in which women who participate would intern with participating businesses involved in those areas.
Dombrowski says encouraging women to go into this type of work is a vital part of the project.
"There are women across the country that aren’t entering these fields, while they are going into college, or they are coming out with a science degree, and they don’t know how to market themselves. So I think our focus is looking for the sponsorship from the businesses that have the funding to help these students," Dombrowski said.
It’s not a secret that science and math are subjects where West Virginia students struggle. But both women believe West Virginia is the perfect place to launch the project; particularly in the I-79 Corridor where technology and innovation are growing.
"I think that we’re in the middle of this high tech corridor, and most people are familiar with that, but I also think there is a lot that goes on in the field that gets overlooked. People don’t know it happened in the state of West Virginia, people don’t know it was created in the state of West Virginia," Cid said.
"There’s some sort of missing link between final products and understanding where the origin is. I think if we can start something in the state of West Virginia, and make sure people know, it just seems like a logical fit."
For now, the organization is reaching out to businesses and individuals to get involved with them.
In the future, Dombrowski says STEMPLOY hopes to host workshops, as well as talk with younger students about the benefits of pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and math.
"Down the road, we would like to do more assessments, more surveys, and try to get these numbers up in the industry, to show that women are a good candidate for these types of high-tech, professional business careers," Dombrowski said.
STEMPLOY’s founders encourage anyone who wants to work with them to contact them through their website.