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"Only 4%" Campaign Launch Party Success!

Science Club for Girls has officially launched our “Only 4%” campaign! This campaign draws attention to a startling fact: Only 4% of Scientists and Engineers in the US are Black and Latina women. The impacts of this disparity are far-reaching. SCFG aims to shine a spotlight the dire need to diversify the entire STEM ecosystem and invest in girls' STEM education and mentorship, starting at a young age.

While we recognize and honor the women in STEM who are currently "the 4%," SCFG's campaign makes it clear that this number needs to change. Alongside our "Only 4%" ambassadors (who are Black and Latina working in STEM), we feature girls from SCFG's community who are poised to become the world-changing STEM leaders of the future.

The "Only 4%" campaign launch party was held at the MIT welcome center on September

27. More than 150 guests gathered to celebrate the launch and meet the campaign ambassadors who have offered their stories, perspectives, hopes, and dreams to support this movement:

Cristiana Salgado- Braga, CS&Bio Consulting, Founder

Dr. Michelle A. Soriano, Sanofi, Head of Strategy & Operations, Immunology Franchise

Dr. Latanya Sweeney, Harvard Kennedy School, Professor

Zackera Solis, Encore Fire Protection, Fire Suppression Design Engineer

Sedna Darkey, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Quality Control Analyst IV

Kiara Donald, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Principal Associate Scientist

Beatriz Perez, Amazon ASIC Engineer/Hardware Development Engineer

Genevieve R., SCFG Junior Mentor

Skylar F., SCFG Participant

Yani M., SCFG Participant

Yenifer T., SCFG Participant

Guests viewed inspiring campaign videos in which SCFG participants interview the adult ambassadors about their personal and professional experiences and seek advice for young, ambitious girls like themselves. Guests also had the opportunity to network and connect with fellow stakeholders in STEM and discuss what the what the current lack of diversity in STEM means to them. We know many conversations centered around the fact that creating a more diverse STEM workforce is in everyone’s best interest as all of our daily lives are increasingly impacted by challenges such as global pandemics, climate change, AI, and cybersecurity—challenges that will have STEM-based solutions. Yet, currently, there are many talented individuals missing from these efforts and, because of the magnitude of these challenges, we need EVERYONE at the proverbial STEM table working to innovate solutions and find our way forward.

Also included in the launch-day extravaganza was a viewing of Lyda Hill Philanthropies' IF/THEN exhibit which were on display at MIT. This exhibit features 120 3D printed statues of contemporary women in STEM. IF/THEN explains, “the individual stories of the women the statues represent, accessible through QR code-linked videos, images and biographies, highlights how a more diverse, more inclusive workforce will strengthen the world’s shared future. If we support a woman in STEM, THEN she can change the world!”

IF/THEN also hosted a fireside chat at the MIT Museum with AAAS IF/THEN Ambassador and Staff Liaison for the SCFG Mentor Chapter at MIT Ritu Raman Ph.D, SCFG Mentor Beatriz Perez, SCFG Junior Mentor Genevieve, and SCFG Participant Yani. Moderated by Nicole Small, the panel spoke about their personal journeys in STEM, challenges they’ve overcome, and the importance of STEM exposure to those underrepresented in the field. Speaking about the huge diversity gap in STEM, Beatriz articulated,

”It’s not because of inability or because people don’t want to do it; it’s because of lack of access, stereotypes, and systemic injustice.”

-Beatriz Perez

Thank you so much everyone who came out to support this campaign and the work of Science Club for Girls! We are grateful to have hosted this launch party in collaboration with the Cambridge Science Festival and IF/THEN®, an Initiative of Lyda Hill Philanthropies. Thank you to Everybody Gotta Eat for the robust Haitian menu and beautiful fruit display, Boston Photo Booth for our fun Photo Booth, and Craig Bailey of Perspective Photo for capturing the special moments at our launch party.

Stay tuned to social media to see our moving “Only 4%” interviews and be on the lookout around Cambridge to find our campaign signage on bus stops. Be sure to visit our campaign page to learn more about "Only 4%,"read about our ambassadors, watch their moving videos, and donate to support this critical and transformational work.

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