This Women's History Month, we celebrate the amazing work of the American Heart Association to promote the health of women nationwide and are proud to share how SDG&E has united with this work through the philanthropic efforts of our leader, CEO Caroline Winn.
Among a sea of red dresses and more than 400 of San Diego’s women leaders and male allies, SDG&E CEO Caroline Winn took the stage at the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women luncheon as she was announced as the organization’s campaign chairwoman for 2024. Her chairwomanship will also coincide with the 100-year centennial anniversary of the American Heart Association (AHA) and the 20th anniversary of the Go Red for Women campaign.
Since 2004, the Go Red for Women movement has educated millions globally about the Number 1 killer of women: cardiovascular disease. Despite nearly 100 years of medical innovation and education, AHA faces a new challenge. Research shows that younger women and women of color are less likely to be aware that cardiovascular disease can strike women at any age and causes 1 in 3 deaths each year. This Women’s History Month, as SDG&E’s original #BeThatGirl, Caroline continues her work to empower underrepresented women, but this time encouraging them to take charge of their own heart health.
“Like the American Heart Association, SDG&E is a long-time member of our community, and throughout the years, our company and workforce have always made it a priority to give back,” said Caroline. “A major focus of our company’s philanthropic program is addressing social inequities across a wide range of areas, particularly in STEM fields, such as engineering. As the 2024 Go Red for Women Chair, I look forward to joining forces with the AHA to create a future where every woman lives a longer and healthier life.”
The event had a great turnout of SDG&E support, with the Community Relations, Digital Innovation, and Fire Mitigation teams leading STEM Goes Red, as well as VP of Operations Support Jenn Jett, VP of People and Culture Kendall Helm, and VP of Customer Services Dana Golan joining Caroline at the Go Red for Women luncheon.
#BeThatGirl Leads Speed-Mentoring Sessions for STEM Goes Red
Caroline continued building on her commitment to create a more equitable, innovative, and healthier future by championing another signature AHA event that same day: STEM Goes Red. San Diego’s first STEM Goes Red expo brought 50 sophomores and juniors from Castle Park High School – future women in STEM – for an engaging morning of heart health presentations, speed networking with STEM professionals and interactive activities, including a hands-on robotics demonstration by one of SDG&E’s Inspiring Future Leaders nonprofit STEM partners, Greater than Tech.
While students coded robots to roam the floors, SDG&E’s Digital Innovation team took to the (virtual) skies with a VR experience where students flew paper airplanes with their own avatars as an immersive introduction to the cutting-edge technology that STEM professionals at SDG&E work with regularly. To close out the expo, SDG&E #BeThatGirl role models led speed-mentoring sessions for rotating groups of students. They answered questions on their journey to their careers and shared candidly about the very real obstacles they had to overcome as a woman in the STEM world.
“High school is a time of discovery and learning your own interests. It was fun to connect with the students to brainstorm different career paths that their interests could lead to! I remember enjoying physics in high school but never knew it would lead me to electrical engineering,” said Ashley Llacuna, STEM Goes Red Mentor and SDG&E Wildfire Mitigation Strategy Project Manager.
Mission of the American Heart Association
AHA’s mission is to create a world free of cardiovascular diseases, including strokes and heart attacks, by promoting healthy lifestyles, building awareness, and raising critically needed funds to support research and education initiatives. This last century, AHA has made huge strides in the education and prevention of heart disease, including the over 19 million patients benefiting from a quality care initiative for high blood pressure, CPR training and a 15.1% reduction in deaths from heart disease in the last 5 years. SDG&E wholeheartedly joins this effort, beginning with opening doors for innovation, access, and prevention right here in our community.