Neuroscientist Beth McQuiston takes questions from an Abbott high school intern about how to find success in STEM.
As a global health technology company that recruits world-class scientists and engineers, we know women are critical to solving the world's biggest problems with smart, imaginative thinking.
But in the United States, women make up just 27% of the science, technology, engineering and math – or STEM – workforce, while accounting for 48% of all U.S. workers. Meanwhile, U.S. federal data predict the need for nearly 800,000 more STEM workers by 2029.
These statistics are reality at a time when the world needs our brightest and most passionate STEM minds to solve major challenges. This need is one reason why we invest in our high school internship program, which gives students the opportunity to work on our life-changing technologies alongside engineers and scientists who look like them.
Because we choose students from diverse schools, more than two-thirds are from underrepresented groups and more than half are young women. Nearly 80% who are eligible go on to our college internship program, and more than 70% of the former high school interns we've hired as full-time engineers are women.
We're not perfect, but we're actively working on it – and we've updated the blueprint of what's worked well for us to include a chapter on earning college credit for STEM internships. It's our hope that companies will use it as a guide to start similar high school internship programs.
None of us can change the face of STEM alone. It's going to take a village of science-based companies, committed to exposing young women to STEM early on, to change the statistics.
Join us in this mission.
Want more inspiration? Meet our STEM Sisters. A select group of incredible women who are making a difference through STEM fields at Abbott, every single day.
Are you a parent or teacher? Check out our Resources page on STEM activities you can do with your children and students.
From their notebooks to business leaders' desks, our female high school interns share their stories in open letters
“Please consider creating more internships like the one I experienced. You'll change girls' lives.”
- Allison, 18
“STEM internships aren't easy to find, but it's impossible to overstate the difference they make.”
- Anushka, 18
“I know the STEM world could use more brilliant female minds.”
- Fiona, 17
“The internship gave me the chance to meet successful women in engineering.”
- Grace, 16
“I might not have continued to pursue STEM if it hadn't been for my high school internship at Abbott.”
- Helen, 16
“There are so many girls like me who could have amazing success in STEM, if only they had the chance.”
- Jomi, 18
“An internship at Abbott changed everything. I got the chance to learn from female engineers.”
- Kaliah, 18
“I finally see people in STEM who look like me. It's impossible to describe the impact this has had.”
- Olivia, 17
“I work alongside female managers responsible for entire endovascular departments.”
- Skyler, 18
What’s so cool about science? Our STEM Sisters have the answer to that!
Inspiration sparks curiosity. For the budding scientist in your home, check out our in-home experiments that will foster a curiosity in science, technology, engineering and math. From the classic lava lamp to mechanical grabbers to a steam powered boat, these experiments will ignite the scientist inside all of us.
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For more information on STEM please contact Caryn Rousseau.
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