How To Use the Toolkit
Effective Use of the Film
Schools and Nonprofits
a project of Media Working Group
professionals and advocates
Inspiring professional women and other stake-holders to serve as role
models and improve the STEM opportunities for the next generation
This section contains strategies for using The Gender Chip Project with
professional women and others who can support and advocate on behalf
of girls and women in science, technology, engineering and math. Suggestions
for using the film include:
- Show the film at a meeting of your professional association or organize
a networking event around it. Discuss participants’ challenges
and triumphs in their careers, and who supported them along the way.
Set up a resource table with information about volunteer opportunities
with local STEM programs for girls.
• Host a brown-bag at your workplace and use the film to spark interest
in your company’s community involvement program.
• Screen the film as part of a program focused on work and family. Invite
scholars and advocates to speak on a panel and take part in a conversation about
changing the culture of STEM professions and companies.
• Use the film to prompt discussion about women and STEM at your college
or university. “Grade” your institution on how well it is doing to
support female students and faculty in STEM departments and make recommendations
• Host a house party/screening to raise money and recruit volunteers for
your favorite STEM nonprofit or scholarship program. Invite young female program
participants to speak about what they have gained from their involvement.
Convene representatives from local foundations and corporate giving programs
to screen the film, learn more about girls and STEM and discuss strategies
for making the most impact with their dollars.
- Name some of the factors that led you to pursue a career in STEM.
What sacrifices have you made along the way? What about your education
and career have you found the most satisfying?
Amanda mentions her mother, a nurse, as one of her inspirations for
her pursuit of a career in medicine. Anna talks about the teacher who
encouraged her to stick with math. Which adult had the most influence
on your decision to follow a career in STEM?
- What are some of the hidden barriers to women’s and minorities’ pursuit
of and success in STEM?
- Of all the STEM sectors, engineering has the most trouble retaining
women and minorities, with women of color being the least represented.
On the other hand, women now comprise a majority of medical students.
Based on your experience, what do you think accounts for the success
or failure of STEM fields to become more diverse?
- In the last segment of the film, many of the young women are hopeful
about the future and their ability to “have it all.” What
do you think will surprise them most once they begin a job or graduate
school? What are your hopes for the next generation of STEM professionals,
in both academia and industry?
- American Association
of University Women
National research and advocacy organization promoting education and equity
for women and girls. Website has publications for download such as Tech Savvy:
Educating Girls in the New Computer Age.
- Anita Borg Institute
for Women and Technology
Mission to increase the impact of women on all aspects of technology and
to increase the positive impact of technology on women worldwide. Partners
with corporations, universities and government agencies to deliver programs
that change the world for women and technology.
- The Gender Chip
Computer Clubhouse Network
Founded in 1993 by the Museum of Science in Boston and the MIT Media Laboratory,
the Network now boasts 90 clubhouses around the world. Clubhouses have many
volunteer opportunities for professionals.
- Level Playing Field
Promotes fairness and equity in education and the workplace through advocacy,
research and academic programs and scholarships for underrepresented groups.
Website has publications for download including Underrepresented Students
in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
E-mentoring network targeting women and other underrepresented groups in
STEM. Recruits professionals to provide email-based mentoring to community
college, undergraduate and graduate students, post-docs and untenured faculty
pursuing careers in industry, government and academia.
- National Center for
Women & Information Technology
Collaborative effort among colleges, universities, individuals, nonprofits,
industry and government to ensure women’s full representation in information
technology and computing. Website lists numerous ways to get involved.
of Color Annual Awards Conference
Annual conference held since 1995 to celebrate women of color’s achievements
and connect minority women in technology careers with mentors and employers.
- WomensMedia.com – The
Site for Working Women
Online resources to help women advance in their careers. Sponsors the project,
Computers Are for Girls, which focuses on girls through age 10.
- Work and
Nonprofit research center that provides data to inform decision-making on
the changing workforce, changing families and changing communities. Website
includes research summaries and advice for employers and employees.