Under the Community Workforce Diversity Campaign Build a Dream will be undertaking three initiatives:
- Gender & Workforce Awareness Video
- Workforce Innovators Network
- Career Exploration & Self‐Esteem Workshop
Gender & Workforce Awareness Videos
Different people have different ideas and experiences when it comes to the discussion of gender balance. For women, there are some hurdles to entering male‐dominated fields and for industry, there are hurdles in attracting women for many reasons including the fact that females will often enter careers where they think they can make a difference (and do not associate many male‐dominated jobs with helping the greater community). Psychology Today posted results from a 2009 study by Su et al found a “gigantic gender difference” in interests after surveying 500,000 people. Specifically, “women preferred working with people, whereas men preferred working with things…”
Build a Dream will create a pilot series of videos that offer four perspectives relating to gender and workforce diversity; attitudes regarding male‐dominated careers would be discussed by four groups: educators, youth, industry, and female professionals.
Workforce Innovators Network
Build a Dream will launch a website that features vetted speakers who can effectively share the gender diversity message at an open house event in the fall of 2019. This new website will connect mentors to speaking requests by sharing their biography, availability and a booking link in one online property. Build a Dream, a national organization operating out of Windsor-Essex, will strive to build a roster of speakers from a diverse background, including females in underrepresented fields and ethnocultural backgrounds, so they can speak at national, provincial and local events. The website will be used to recruit and spotlight area speakers first, and then we will expand the success to include speakers from across the country.
The website will be promoted through social media and traditional media, as well as being sent to matching conferences who need to find speakers for late 2019 and 2020 workshops/plenaries.
Career Exploration and Self-esteem Workshops
Data shows that girls will begin to lose interest (and support) in STEM as they get older. A study done by Microsoft found that “efforts to expand female interest and employment in STEM and computer science are not working as well as intended,” noting that “the reasons range from peer pressure, to a lack of role models and support from parents as well as teachers, to a general misperception of what STEM careers look like in the real world.”
In addition to losing interest, confidence drops as much as 30% in girls over the age of 14 (compared to boys) and since girls tend to perform well academically, that achievement can be confused for confidence.
This Build a Dream workshop focuses on generating interest and excitement in building and problem‐solving while working on confidence. The curriculum was created in partnership with local certified STEM teacher, Chuck Stoffle. The aim is to engage young women through discussions about their lives and future, present female professionals as role models to discuss the opportunities available, and encouraging students to explore what they can do with new and different skills. The workshop will be trialled first with the organizers, and then with students from an area school. Teachers and participants will provide feedback on the program so that it can be improved for future use locally or across the Country.
To learn more about Build a Dream and how you can support the Community Workforce Diversity Campaign visit their website: