STEM Success Summit Returns to the Virtual Stage to Empower Underrepresented Communities

Free virtual conference provides education, networking, and mentorship for traditionally underrepresented communities in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

October 27, 2020STEMedia announces today the return of the STEM Success Summit, a free virtual event designed to provide networking, career support and inspiration to communities typically underrepresented in the STEM fields. STEM Success Summit is a natively virtual event, launched in 2019 with the goal of uniting a global community of BIPOC beginning or considering science and engineering careers. This year’s three-day virtual event runs Thursday, November 19 through Saturday, November 21. Attendance is free to all who register through the event’s website, open now.

Each day of the event will include speaking appearances by diverse influential voices from across the STEM landscape, along with personal, professional, and career development sessions, and networking socials for students and professionals to build their support systems. The event schedule features speakers from leading companies and institutions, such as Edward Gonzales of NASA and Ayo Dahunsi of UL, alongside figures from professional societies like Rochelle L. Williams of the National Society of Black Engineers and Riya Anandwala of the Consumer Technology Association. Investors and entrepreneurs will take the stage as well, including Brit Fitzpatrick of Blue North and Codie Sanchez of Entourage Effect Capital.

Inspiration for the Event

“We believe the STEM world is currently missing out on great ideas and concepts that come from the minds of people of diverse backgrounds,” said Maynard Okereke, one of the event’s founders and creator of the Hip Hop Science Show. “The goal of the STEM Success Summit is to give students and young professionals the tools and networks they will need to get their careers and ideas off the ground.”

The need for the STEM Success Summit is clear. According to the Pew Research Center, Black workers make up 11% of the American workforce but account for only 9% of STEM workers. The gap is even wider for Hispanic workers, at 16% of the overall workforce and 7% of the STEM workforce – and the gap widens further still at the highest-educated and paid positions.

“Minorities embarking on STEM careers need clarity,” says Okereke. “The lack of access to diverse mentors and peers within their chosen fields can make them feel directionless.” The STEM Success Summit aims to attack that problem directly by connecting minorities at the undergraduate through early career levels to mentors and a widespread network of STEM professionals who have successfully forged a path.

With careers in the STEM field projected to grow by nearly 10% from 2019 to 2029 according to the The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the organizers behind the STEM Success Summit hope to empower members of minority communities to fill many of these projected jobs at a rate higher than has historically been observed.

Sponsor Support

Best Buy has signed on to sponsor the Summit. “At Best Buy we’re committed to helping prepare youth from diverse communities for tech-reliant jobs now and in the future, so we’re thrilled to support STEM Success Summit in their important work of fostering an inclusive tech culture that will help the industry attract and retain underrepresented talent,” said Amelia Hardy, Vice President of Inclusion and Diversity at Best Buy.

Sponsorship opportunities at varying levels are still available for interested parties.

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