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The 8 inaugural AL DÍA Leaders in STEM. Graphic: Maybeth Peralta/AL DÍA News.
The 8 inaugural AL DÍA Leaders in STEM. Graphic: Maybeth Peralta/AL DÍA News.

Introducing the inaugural AL DÍA Leaders in STEM honorees

These eight organizations will be honored for their contributions in helping add more diversity to the STEM fields.

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The Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields have historically been underrepresented for Black and Latinx communities.

However, while the underrepresentation exists, various organizations are playing a key role in proactively fostering diversity within these industries.

The purpose of the first-ever AL DÍA Top Leaders in STEM event is to highlight some of these various organizations.

The six individuals who comprise the 2022 AL DÍA Top Leaders in STEM Advisory Board have made the selection — choosing eight total organizations that will hold the distinction of being the first organizations recognized as AL DÍA Leaders in STEM.

The eight honorees that will be honored are: Girls Inc., GSK, Comcast, Coded by Kids, SHPE, PECO, Philadelphia Futures and Math Corps

Learn a bit more about the 2022 AL DÍA Top Leaders in STEM.  

Science

  • Girls Inc: Girls Inc. of Greater Philadelphia & Southern New Jersey is a nonprofit organization that aims to inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold, through direct service and advocacy. Through partnerships with various schools and Girls Inc. centers in the area, the organization is able to focus on the development of the whole girl and teaches concepts like valuing herself, taking risks, and discovering and developing her inherent strengths. 

The goal is for the combination of long-lasting mentoring relationships, a pro-girl environment, and research-based programs to equip girls to navigate gender, economic and social barriers, and grow up healthy, educated and independent. The organization also advocates for legislation and policies to increase opportunities and rights for all girls. 

  • GSK: GSK is a global biopharma company with the ambition and purpose to unite science, technology and talent to get ahead of disease in a collaborative fashion. 

With this goal in mind, GSK produces innovative vaccines and specialty medicines to prevent and treat disease with focuses on the science of the immune system, human genetics and advanced technologies.

Technology

  • Comcast: Comcast is a multinational telecommunications conglomerate, and second largest broadcasting and cable television company in the world. The company creates technology and entertainment that connects millions of people to the moments and experiences that matter most. 
  • Coded by Kids: Coded by Kids is a 501c3 tech education nonprofit that focuses on providing young people between the ages of 8-18 and from underrepresented groups, with software development, digital design, computer science, and tech startup-focused entrepreneurship programs. 

Engineering

  • SHPE: SHPE is an organization that aims to raise awareness, provide access and prepare Hispanic students and professionals to become leaders within the STEM field. More than 50 years since its founding, SHPE currently has over 13,000 members and nearly 300 student and professional chapters. 
  • PECO: PECO is the Pennsylvania region’s largest electric and natural gas utility companies, delivering power to nearly 1.7 million electric customers and more than 545,000 natural gas customers in the region. 

Math

  • Philadelphia Futures: Philadelphia Futures is a nonprofit that has made a profound difference in the lives of thousands of students through the power of education. The organization is conducted with the purpose of providing low-income, first-generation-to-college students with the tools, resources, and opportunities necessary for admission to and success in college. 
  • Math Corps: Math Corps is an educational outreach program with a powerful mentoring component that has worked to provide middle and high school students in the Greater Philadelphia area with the necessary educational and lifetime opportunities that all children need to succeed. 

Reactions to the Recognition

These eight organizations will be honored next month at the inaugural AL DÍA Top Leaders in STEM event. 

Upon receiving word of the distinctions, staff and representatives from these organizations share feelings of gratitude.

For GSK, it was particularly an honor to receive the recognition in just the second year of a ten-year commitment to increase STEM representation in Philadelphia.

“This honor from AL DÍA is a testament to our goals to increase STEM access in homes, communities and schools, and to support STEM workplaces where all people can thrive,” wrote Kimberly Palladino, Collective Backbone Director at GSK, in an email.

Coded by Kids is honored for the recognitions, as it will provide opportunities to continue building awareness around its various programs — all with the goal of increasing representation.

“We are working to expand our software development, digital design, computer science, and tech startup-focused entrepreneurship education programming to serve more underrepresented young people in the region,” wrote Coded by Kids Development Manager Melanie Bermudez, in an email.

The work doesn’t stop there, however. 

Girls Inc. is also doing inspiring work to open doors for young individuals in underserved and underrepresented communities to see STEM as viable career paths.

“We use an engaging, intensive and multi-year approach for our work in STEM to keep girls from falling back on the persistent stereotypes that seek to dissuade them, especially girls of color, from pursuing exciting and lucrative STEM careers,” Girls Inc. staff noted. 

Eyeing a Future of More Representation

This recognition will serve as a catalyst of motivation for these organizations to not only continue, but expand, its crucial work. 

“We want students to be able to themselves in the tech space and understand the endless opportunities available to them in technology and innovation beyond jobs with high potential for future automation,” said Bermudez. 

The goal is to start that belief and build that mindset as early as possible. 

“Girls’ disengagement with STEM starts young, but we’re so encouraged by the community of support AL DÍA has now built… through this award,” noted Girls, Inc. staff.

The organization’s newest initiative, Project Accelerate, also supports its work in STEM, as it supports the entry of young women into leadership positions. 

It does so by driving cultural change towards equity in the workplace, and by ensuring young women’s educational attainment and skill development to facilitate career trajectories.

GSK shares in the sentiment, as its belief is that diversity and inclusion promote strength and resilience in both businesses and communities. 

“We need diversity across our science and technology industries in Philadelphia to continue to drive innovation forward and solve today’s challenges,” said GSK staff. 

The 2022 AL DÍA Top Leaders in STEM is set to take place Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022 at the Pyramid Club from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. To learn more or purchase tickets to this inaugural event, click here

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