The role of technical education in empowering young women in non-traditional careers was the focus of a high profile White House conference hosted by the Georgetown University Law School yesterday. The event, titled Front and Center: Bringing Marginalized Girls into Focus in STEM and Career and Technical Education (CTE), brought experts from government, academia, community organizations and industry partners in a wide=ranging discussion of the topic. CTE Council Members Ivana Nuñez and Françoise Jacobsohn, Council Vice-Chairperson, both contributed valuable insights and real-world experiences to the discussions.
Georgetown Law posted a video of the conference on-line at this link.
The conference keynote was delivered by Valerie Jarrett, Senior Adviser to President Barack Obama and Chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls.
Dr. Njema Frazier of Diversity Science LLC briefly set the context for the upcoming panels.
Following Katrina Burch, Coretta Scott King Young Women’s Leadership Academy, Ivana Nuñez spoke of her family’s support in her electrical installation career path at Queens Vocational and Technical High School. She described the importance of her CTE teachers and the female role models from the construction trades that she met in her studies.
In the afternoon panel on Potential Policy Levers, Françoise Jacobsohn’s talk (beginning at 3:34:45) pointed out the high public policy cost of segregating women out of high paying, high skills jobs. She pointed out that 50% of blue collar jobs are in the STEM economy, and she described her experiences advocating for gender equity in New York City.
The full program and speakers list is available on-line.
UPDATE: A Storify compendium of tweets about the event: