‘Women in STEM’ speak to freshman girls

By Kendra Gastin, Business Manager — To start off women’s history month, the STEM Program welcomed five women role models to come speak to girls on behalf of life in their careers.

On March 3, girls from the freshman stem program were invited to go talk to female leaders in the community to learn more about how to overcome adversity in the workplace. These women came to talk about their experiences being in a predominately male environment and give advice that can be applied to these young girls for school now and as they get older.

Angela Beshore, ninth grade freshman STEM teacher developed this program after an idea she had about wanting female students to be inspired to continue with their STEM career goals. She came across a news article about ways women can overcome their adverse work conditions as well as working with fellow male colleagues. After reading this article she decided she would find women she knew in the STEM area to come to school and share their stories about working in a male dominated workplace.

Along with these five women, CJ Lear, social studies teacher, was also in attendance. Lear is also a professor in Gender Studies. She opened up the program with information about the differences between males and females in the workplace.

“The program went even better than I hoped. I also loved how the speakers discussed schooling, work-family balance, and ways that they deal with stress,” Beshore said. “They are all amazing and well-rounded women, so they serve as perfect role models for our girls in STEM.”

In attendance from the science field was Dr. Pamela Drummond-Ray and Dr. Jessica Cerrezuela Steiner. Both ladies were invited to sit on the panel to answer girls questions regarding science driven careers. Drummond-Ray is an OBGYN and Steiner is a Pediatrician.

For the technology field, Holly Beshore, senior project manager at the Cleveland Clinic, was there to explain what she does and how important technology is to a hospital.

In the field of engineering, Ashley Lane was invited to speak on behalf of the engineering aspects. Lane works as an engineer for the Timken Steel Corporation.

Finally, for the math field, Angela Niro, a product analyst came to tell girls about what it is like working in a math heavy career. Niro is employed at Progressive Insurance.

The girls were able to openly ask questions about anything STEM or gender related. Many of the girls found this beneficial because as teens they are becoming more and more aware that they will have to pick a career very soon.

“I loved the different types of speakers that were there and the things that they do and how they spend their lives in such a cool way of doing what they love,” Neveaha Mitchelle said. “I would love to work in the field Dr. Ray is in, which was the OBGYN.”

Having different women speakers come in each year to talk to the freshmen girls in STEM and act as role models to these young girls is something Beshore would love to make happen.

“I would like to make this an annual tradition,” Beshore said.

This is just one of the many great ideas Beshore has that she would like to bring to the STEM program to benefit the females in the program.

[Updated Aug. 20, 2017: This article has been reformatted for consistency.]