What do Labor Day, STEM & “Diversity” have in common?
By Kenton Clarke
Founder & Social Entrepreneur | Omnikal
Today marks the beginning of the National Labor Day celebration of the American worker. My hope is that it causes us all to pause and reflect on the state of the current workforce, jobs, innovation, our children and ourselves as we prepare for the future. As I reflect on how the true meaning of inclusion has played a critical role thus far in STEM, I feel we still have far to go.
The ability and availability or existence of team members bringing a different perspective to solving a problem has been proven that inclusion matters more than the individual ability in the fields of science, math and engineering and ultimately in driving innovation in business and solving world problems.
It’s clear, as data shows in studies conducted by the National Science Foundation, the entire scientific enterprise lacks inclusion of under served individuals namely the inclusion and ultimate participation of women and other underrepresented groups.
I applaud such leading tech companies as Google, Apple and Microsoft. Numerous not-for-profit and educational groups like, Girls Who Code, Black Girls Code and the network of Historically Black Colleges/Universities who are all committed and working tirelessly to build a new pipeline of talent to fill this void. Of equal importance are social entrepreneurs like Leila Janah of Samasource who “Creates Work” by teaching low tech skills in undeveloped countries.
So I ask you…
What do you think can be done today in our education curriculum, in access to science and math based programs? What more can we do to ensure our future generations of under served individuals in these fields have a chance to work, create security, raise families and develop innovative solutions for American business?