LOS ANGELES – September 20, 2016 – For the first time ever, the Los Angeles Unified School District passed a resolution today, designating October as Girls Empowerment Month. Girls Empowerment Month introduces girls in public schools across the Los Angeles County to different career opportunities, especially those in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). In 2015, women held 25 percent of all STEM occupations; Latinas and Black women held only 1 percent and 3 percent of these jobs, respectively. Early exposure to STEM content, and building skills like critical analysis and project management, are critical in closing the gender gap in STEM fields and the economy at large.
“Mothers, sisters, aunts, grandmothers, and caregivers across Los Angeles hear what students want to be when they grow up. Many of those dreams require a STEM education,” said L.A. Unified School Board Member Mónica García. “We are committed partners for student success on the path to the graduation finish line because we know that every girl can be successful.”
“We are so thrilled to be partnering with LAUSD in designating October Girls Empowerment Month,” said Veronica Melvin, president and CEO of the LA Promise Fund. “Through this partnership, we can reach more girls and more leaders – furthering our goal to help young women across the County gain access to the tools and support – and specifically, STEM tools and support -- they need for success in the 21st Century.”
As part of Girls Empowerment Month, businesses from diverse industries, including technology, entertainment, and government, host hundreds of young women for field trips, office tours and panel conversations. These trips help highlight the different paths that women can take to professional success, and introduce them to opportunities they might never otherwise know about. Last year, one thousand students were engaged in Girls Empowerment Month.
L.A. School Board Member Dr. George McKenna lauded the board’s action: “We support the celebration of Girls Empowerment Month in recognition of the female students attending LAUSD Schools. The creation of programs like Girls Build LA will provide valuable opportunities for girls in Los Angeles to reach their full potential.”
L.A. Unified is the second biggest school district in the country. With its support, Girls Empowerment Month can engage even more industry leaders and benefit hundreds of thousands of girls who can be inspired by the support the month offers.
Girls Build LA is a three-year initiative that challenges young women from public middle and high schools in LA County to use STEAM principles and 21st Century learning skills to effect social change. Girls Build LA activates young women to engage the issues they care about, and prepares them to solve problems of tomorrow.