By Marco Santana
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Last week’s “Grace Hopper Celebration” was a high-tech gathering that drew more than 25,000 attendees, most of them women, including engineer Naomie Baptiste.
When Naomie Baptiste was a second-grader in Miami, her uncle, a retired Coca-Cola electrical engineer, played a mathematics game with her at the store.
If she wanted M&Ms, he made her earn the candy by figuring out the sales tax that would be added to the price of the package at the register. That calculation was one of the things that helped her build an interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
“He was the first person who inspired me to be an engineer,” said Baptiste, now a sustainment engineer with the Orlando office of Lockheed Martin’s Missiles and Fire Control division. “Those are lessons I carry into Lockheed Martin whenever we taste the sweet victory of winning a contract.”
Baptiste is part of a growing number of women with careers in technology-related fields, according to a new survey conducted by the women in STEM advocate AnitaB.org.
The study found that women make up 25.12% of the workforce, far short of the organization’s stated goal of reaching a 50-50 split by 2025, but a jump from 21.74% in 2016.
The group each year hosts the Grace Hopper Celebration, a high-tech gathering that this week drew more than 25,000 attendees, most of them women, to the Orange County Convention Center.