SC Aerospace Director Adrianne Beasley was featured on OnPoint on WACH-FOX’s July 16 show on the importance of getting girls involved in STEM.
Beasley spoke with host Cynthia Hardy on the impact girls interested in STEM careers can have on South Carolina’s aerospace cluster. Women make up less than 10 percent of the aerospace workforce and in South Carolina alone, men outnumber women in STEM fields five to one.
“The main two factors that we see in getting girls involved in STEM fields is, one, to increase the awareness of what kind of careers are out there and then linking that back to the skill sets and interests they have now as they’re getting into middle school and high school,” Beasley said. “So I think the first thing is increasing that awareness and the second thing is providing mentorship opportunities so that women see that there are women succeeding in these career fields. There are lots of women that are very, very willing to share their experiences and be those mentors.”
Beasley also spoke to a group of South Carolina girls the OnPoint Leadership Institute for Girls on July 31 about why it’s so important that they not be afraid to explore sciences, math, engineering and other technological fields, but to also understand that there are so many opportunities for them to explore these fields without necessarily aspiring to be an engineer.
On June 15, Beasley spoke with a group of 60 eighth and ninth grade girls during the GEMS (Girls in Energy, Media, and Space) Camp at the Chapin Center for Advanced Technical Studies (Lexington School District 5). Adrianne sat on a panel with a civil engineer, soil scientist, and three women who hold senior positions in both engineering and management divisions at Boeing SC.
The discussion was centered on Women in Engineering fields, and Adrianne’s presentation included information on the multi-disciplinary opportunities for women in aerospace in South Carolina. Each panelist shared their own story about their career paths and gave advice to the girls on how to be successful in a mostly male career field. Most of the students’ questions concerned how to best prepare for these careers in high school. Adrianne’s advice to these students was to get involved in student organizations throughout their education – from taking advantage of aerospace or engineering curriculum if it’s offered at their school, to getting involved or starting student organizations like First Robotics or Tech Challenge; and also to seek out mentors at every stage of their education. She also pointed out the apprenticeship opportunities that South Carolina has through its Apprenticeship Carolina programs that start as early as high school – the Youth Apprenticeship Carolina program is active in 32 SC counties and targets industry clusters like Advanced Manufacturing, Energy, Information Technology, and Logistics.
If you’re interested in having Adrianne and SC Aerospace speak to your group or organization, please email us.