Empowering Girls In Technology

By Julia Bergman
The Day, New London, Conn.

GROTON

Some of the students took no time to think about what they want to be when they’re older: a NASA engineer who helps to make rovers, a nuclear engineer.

Others were more general, saying they’d like to pursue a career in math, maybe as a teacher.

Then there were those who weren’t sure yet what they wanted to be, but whose interest was piqued through science or technology projects they’d done in school.

More than 150 girls from middle and high schools in Connecticut and Rhode Island attended an event held Friday at the Mystic Marriott aimed at getting them interested in manufacturing.

“How many of you think you want to make a lot of money when you go into business,” Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman asked the students.

Most of them raised their hands.

Wyman then posed a slightly different question: “How many of you want to make as much money as a man makes in business?”

Hands shot up and several shouts of “more” were heard in the audience.

“Well you can make more too,” Wyman said.

The second-annual “Making it Real: Girls & Manufacturing Summit” put on by “Connecticut. Dream It. Do It.” and “Dream It. Do It. Rhode Island” sought to engage these young women through interactive and competitive workshops and female speakers in the science, technology, engineering and math field, better known as STEM.

“The truth is most places you go right now, you talk about certain fields, you will not make as much money as a man. You could be doing the exact same job,” Wyman said to the young women. “The one area that we’re finding that more and more women are getting … equal pay is under the STEM.”

Wyman spoke of her experience of running for and becoming the first women in Connecticut to be elected state comptroller.

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