#BeThatGirl: Sisters2Sisters in STEM

These statistics are not acceptable:

  • Less than one in five of all bachelor’s degrees in engineering and computer science in America are awarded to women. And the numbers are even worse for minority women.
  • Over the next four years, women are expected to fill only three percent of the 1.4 new million computer science jobs. 

Knowing that gender disparity starts at an early age, we partner with local organizations to get young girls excited about careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

One of our partnership efforts is with the Big Brothers Big Sisters Beyond School Walls program. Through this program, engineers, IT specialists, accountants and other STEM professionals from SDG&E and our parent company, Sempra Energy, are paired with middle schoolers from Logan Heights. The mentors – known as “the Bigs” – encourage their mentees – “the Littles” to go into math and science fields.

Bigs and Littles Building Bonds

Martha Gomez, a tax manager for Sempra Energy, volunteered as a Big Sister at the Logan K-8 School. “It is such a great feeling to be able to give back and to work for a company that values this program,” said Gomez. 

“I grew up in Logan Heights, and I can clearly remember a few individuals who truly cared and took the time to encourage underprivileged students like myself.  Because of these mentors, I was inspired to continue my education in math and eventually in accounting.  From personal experience, I can say that it only takes one person to become that role model who can make all the difference in a girl’s life.”

The mentors and mentees are paired together for three years, sixth through eighth grades. The mentees visit their mentors’ workplaces every other Wednesday to get real-life exposure of what STEM professionals do.

Watch the following video to see the strong bonds that the Big Sisters build with their Little Sisters.

 

Solar, EVs and Mentors

Last month at the Logan K-8 School, a group of Sempra and SDG&E volunteers worked together with youngsters to build a solar circuitry set. Students also learned about the design and engineering of electric vehicles.

Research has shown that having role models and mentors can make a real difference in a child’s life, including improving school behavior, overall grades, self-esteem, communication skills, and their desire to learn new things.  

More Information

The Beyond the Walls Program is part of Big Brothers Big Sisters’ commitment to changing the lives of underserved youth by providing them with high-quality learning and mentoring experiences with a variety of professionals in a non-judgmental, non-academic setting. Learn more here.

We share Big Brothers Big Sisters’ commitment. Through our #BeThatGirl initiative, SDG&E’s women professionals are volunteering as role models and mentors in our communities to inspire a new generation of girls to be STEM leaders. Learn more here.

Editor’s Note:

Through our new #BeThatGirl initiative, women professionals at SDG&E are volunteering as role models and mentors for young girls in our communities, encouraging them to pursue studies and careers in engineering, meteorology, environmental science, computer science, biology and biotech, and many other STEM fields (STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math.) Our role models remember when not too long ago they were the only girl in their science or engineering classes. Today, they are dedicated to overcoming the severe underrepresentation of women in STEM careers. They are connecting directly with young girls to let them know that they, too, can have a great STEM career. They, too, can BeThatGirl!