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Girl Scouts of the USA Removes Accessibility Barriers in STEM and Entrepreneurship for Girls to Break the Next Glass Ceiling

Girl Scouts in every zip code can explore Financial Literacy, Entrepreneurship, and STEM with the world’s largest leadership program for…

By Girl Power News , in News , at November 3, 2022

Girl Scouts in every zip code can explore Financial Literacy, Entrepreneurship, and STEM with the world’s largest leadership program for girls, narrowing the gender gap in underrepresented fields.

Today, Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) announced the expansion of their STEM Career Exploration badges and reimagination of the Financial Literacy suite of programming for girls in grades K-12, creating a 360° experience and clearing the pathway to underrepresented fields for women. This program update was designed to take girls on a journey through STEM, financial literacy, and entrepreneurship at every level, resulting in Girl Scouts learning skills to make a difference, making informed career choices, and rocketing them to the top of every hiring list.

The importance of diversity, equity, inclusion, and access cannot be overstated, as illustrated in the new Impact of Girl Scout STEM Programming study. Despite the volume of STEM occupations increasing by 79% in the last 30 years, women still comprise only 34% of the STEM workforce and have lower median salaries than their male counterparts. In business, women are scarce in top leadership and entrepreneurial positions, representing just 5% of CEOs and 12% of other top executives. This new and updated programming aims to open an accessible pathway for girls to fill these roles as women.

“Closing the gender gap doesn’t begin in the board room,” said GSUSA Chief Revenue Officer, Wendy Lou. “To engage with STEM and entrepreneurship as adults, girls first need to become interested, experience success, and understand the value of STEM, financial literacy, and entrepreneurship. We are thankful to our corporate funders who made this programming expansion possible.”

The modernization and relaunch of Girl Scouts’ Financial Literacy Badges includes topics like building wealth, fraud prevention, budgeting progression, and investing basics. This emphasis on financial wellness bridges the gap between what girls learn in school and what they need to feel confident making financial decisions and successfully manage finances in life and business and was made possible by a generous grant from Charles Schwab and its Founder.

At the local level, girls will have the opportunity to put their new business knowledge to practice; From Daisies designing a toy business to Ambassadors creating prototypes and business plans, Girl Scouts are flexing their entrepreneurial skills during Camp Entrepreneur and Pitch Day events across the country. These local events are designed based on the new Camp Entrepreneur and Pitch Day Playbooks, made possible by HSBC.

Addressing the underrepresentation of women in STEM, the new STEM Career Exploration Badges, made possible by General Motors, allow girls everywhere to begin their STEM journey as early as Kindergarten. These exciting new badges guide girls through STEM by Sparking STEM interest, building STEM confidence, developing STEM skills, and teaching STEM value.

Data from the Girl Scout Research Institute shows a strong correlation between Girl Scout programming and girls’ interest, confidence, competence and understanding of the value of STEM and entrepreneurship and future interest in these career paths.

Since 2015, GSUSA launched more than 100 new STEM programs and Girl Scouts earned over 5 million STEM badges.Through the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, girls see how STEM activities, education, and careers are relevant to the world around them through engaging activities like building a robot to solve problems in Robotics, programming an avatar in Digital Game Design to help their community, and using shapes and numbers to create nature-inspired art in the Math in Nature badges. Girls can get started on these STEM activities and more at girlscouts.org/STEM.

With a presence in every zip code, Girl Scouts’ low cost of membership, and the availability of financial aid, this programming gives girls across the country the ability to explore new interests and gain the real-world skills needed to become the next generation of leaders in STEM, business, and beyond.

The new STEM Career Exploration Badges, updated Financial Literacy Badge series, and Entrepreneurship learning experiences give girls access to active learning and hands-on experiences, early and throughout their school years. The Girl Scout troop model pairs this enhanced programming with active role models and supportive adults who encourage further exploration, preparing girls for a lifetime of success in leadership. Girls K-12 can begin their leadership journey with Girl Scouts at any point in the year by joining at www.girlscouts.org.

Girl Scouts bring their dreams to life and work together to build a better world. Through programs from coast to coast, Girl Scouts of all backgrounds and abilities can be unapologetically themselves as they discover their strengths and rise to meet new challenges—whether they want to climb to the top of a tree or the top of their class, lace up their boots for a hike or advocate for climate justice, or make their first best friends. Backed by trusted adult volunteers, mentors, and millions of alums, Girl Scouts lead the way as they find their voices and make changes that affect the issues most important to them. To join us, volunteer, reconnect, or donate, visit girlscouts.org.