Women remain underrepresented in the science, technology, engineering, arts and math areas of the workforce. Nationally, despite increases in women pursuing degrees in STEAM areas, statistics from the National Girls Collaborative Project continue to show low carryover for women into the workforce in these areas.
Pittsburgh Technical College seeks to bridge this gap with programs such as PTC Women in STEAM, which gives members opportunities to meet industry professionals, volunteer in the community and attend industry development events.
Created by Sydney Trout, a PTC IT student, the group initially focused on women in technology. However, the program has since expanded to women across all STEAM programs. Current members include women from PTC academic programs including computer-aided design, electronics, computer programming, surgical technology, computer programming, IT and IT security and forensics.
Under the direction of Nicki DeMark, student adviser for the school of information systems and technology, the group facilitates opportunities for collaboration and insight into what it takes to prepare for a career in STEAM disciplines.
By linking curricula to real-life applications, PTC Women in STEAM encourages women to pursue related curricula and connect to professionals in the STEAM workforce, educating them about social impact, introducing them to role models and attracting new students into STEAM careers.