More than 3,000 middle school girls had the chance to visit ExxonMobil facilities and got a first-hand experience as an engineer. The event, taking place nationwide at ExxonMobil locations, is part of the company’s participation in Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day and National Engineers Week, which ran from Feb. 16-20.
For the second year, the company also hosted the ExxonMobil Girls in Engineering Festival in Houston, where middle school girls from three Houston-area school districts participated in a day-long event on Feb. 14.
Both activities are rewarding to middle school girls as ExxonMobil employees seek to persuade them that engineering is “cool” and opens doors of opportunity to them if they choose it as a career.
“As a corporation, we want to unlock the potential of our nation’s future through educational awareness programs such as Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day and Girls in Engineering Festival in hopes of showing young women that engineering is a field where even the sky won’t be the limit,” said Rex Tillerson, chairman and chief executive of Exxon Mobil Corporation. “The girls who take part in these activities will experience the fun and excitement of engineering and also see successful women in high-profile jobs. It’s one thing to dream about the future; it’s even more compelling to actually see and meet some of the brightest engineering minds in the world who are creating it.”
This is the ninth year that ExxonMobil has hosted Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day, providing the company with an opportunity to positively impact girls during their formative years and spark their interest in this critical field.
“When girls arrive at our facilities, we welcome them as though they were new hires coming for their first day of orientation,” Tillerson added. “By doing this, we are planting the seeds of opportunity in their minds and showing them that engineering as a career can be well within the realm of possibility.”
Also as part of National Engineers Week, the ExxonMobil Girls in Engineering Festival hosted 200 middle school girls from the Houston, Cypress Fairbanks and Spring Branch independent school districts at the Spring Branch Education Center. During the event, the participating girls had the chance to sharpen their engineering skills through team-oriented workshops and competitions. A panel of four highly successful female engineers, including meteorologist Casey Curry, NASA engineer Lisa Spence, and scientists from ExxonMobil, took part in a discussion with the girls, before they saw the comical Professor Smart’s Fun with Physics.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the growing demand for qualified engineers will soon reach a critical level and about 80% of new jobs created in the next 10 years will require science, technology, engineering or math skills. At the same time, women make up 46% of the workforce but hold just 26% of the country’s technical jobs.