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Using data to inspire women about jobs in STEM

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Using data to inspire women about jobs in STEM

colby_blogSurveyMonkey’s newly formed employee resource group, WIN (or Women IN SurveyMonkey focusing on Women’s INitiatives), recently partnered with the Professional Women’s Network (PWN) in Dublin to participate in College & Beyond, an event aimed at helping young women develop STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) careers.

SurveyMonkey’s aim at the event was to collect data and provide insights to help inform girls in the community on opportunities for careers in STEM.

The event was hosted on Oct. 25 at the National Concert Hall in Dublin where girls across Ireland in 4th, 5th, and 6th year could hear about opportunities for women in STEM.

Many talented women joined us to discuss their life stories and experiences across STEM. They represented companies such as Alexion, Deloitte, ESB, Deutsche Bank, and SurveyMonkey. It was a powerful day of speaker stories, but also a powerful day to see data and insights at work.

SurveyMonkey played a key role by collecting pre-event survey data and on-the-fly insights. As our co-founder of WIN, I was honored to work with PWN by collecting the pre-survey insights, running two polls, and sharing their results on the day.

The results SurveyMonkey captured through these shared experiences showed a lot. It was inspiring to see how access to information can help inform and empower people in their current or future decisions.

The Power of Information

We gained great insights from the girls and women in the community using a pre-event survey with questions that focused on three main areas.

  1. If they have sufficient information to pursue studying STEM in college
  2. If they feel specific areas are still a “man’s world”
  3. Who the biggest influencers are in their future career decisions

Of the 422 people surveyed, 76% feel engineering is still a “man’s world”. You can see the results of the post-event survey here.

But we wanted to dig deeper and gauge if providing information to girls upfront can help them plan for futures in STEM. We did this through two interactive polls on the day of the event. For example, at the start of the day, we asked the girls two questions:

  1. If they are likely to study STEM in college
  2. If they are likely to pursue a career in STEM

We later asked the same questions after the event’s speaker stories and Q&A session. With our two on-the-fly polls, it was exciting to see the engagement level of the girls’ increase after being exposed to these women and their stories. What we saw in the data was a 10% shift in perspective where more girls selected “extremely likely” to study STEM in college or pursue careers later in life.

Here’s how the data stacked up:

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As you can see from this one event, information is powerful and being able to tap into those insights helps to inform and empower people in their decision-making processes. Through our participation in the event, we hope that sharing experiences and insights breaks the stereotypes or biases that girls or women have in studying or pursuing careers in STEM.

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