The funds raised in this challenge will go toward Play Like a Girl's STEM and sports programs for middle school girls, including the development of a new curriculum designed in partnership with the San Francisco 49ers EDU Academy.
Why STEM + Sports
Sport participation can improve a young woman’s leadership potential and help accelerate her career. Women athletes are, by nature, high achievers, influential leaders and team players who have tremendous value for business and are redefining the workplace. In fact, 94% of women executives in the C-suite played sports—52% played at the university level. And 74% reported that a background in sport helped to develop their leadership muscle and advance their careers. Yet, today’s woman athlete represents an untapped leadership pipeline in the workplace.
Furthermore, girls drop out of sport at twice the rate of boys by age 14 and represent only 35% of STEM students in higher education. And, as their studies progress, young women leave STEM in disproportionate numbers. Many girls are unable to identify themselves as intelligent and are far less likely to picture their future selves as scientists, engineers or working in any STEM-related field. This problem persists even when girls perform just as well as boys in science and math. The erosion in girls' self-confidence is well underway by age six, and they cannot imagine the possibility of another story. Consequently, women represent 48% of the U.S. workforce yet only 24% of jobs in STEM-related fields.
Who Else But Play Like a Girl
This problem, in part, stems from many female students lacking exposure to role models and experiences that help to build their confidence in STEM and in sports. Play Like a Girl is on a mission to change this, and we believe that programs like ours will have significant impact on our efforts to take purposeful action to level the playing field for girls and women on and off the field of play by accelerating progress toward the achievement of gender parity in the workplace.