Monday, July 13, 2015

IIR USA Tackles Nationwide Shortage of Women STEM

Women in STEM Summit and My Story/My Advice Project Connect and Support Women College Students and Leading Companies to Close STEM Talent Gap  

The Women in STEM Summit is produced by IIR USA; October 22, 2015; Waltham, MA; Visit

New York, NY – 7/13/15– The Institute for International Research (IIR USA)—a leading provider of industry conferences and specialized networking and learning experiences for professionals—has announced dual initiatives to pave the way for more women in the U.S. to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) at top companies.

-          The 2nd Annual Women in STEM (WIS) Summit produced by IIR USA and hosted by The Center for Women and Business at Bentley University (Waltham, MA) on October 22, 2015 will bring together women students from leading colleges pursuing STEM coursework, professionals in STEM fields and representatives from top companies looking to increase their STEM firepower for a day of networking, learning and collaboration around talent acquisition and career development for women in STEM.

-          The My Story/My Advice Project is an online resource connecting and supporting women in STEM—both career professionals and aspirants—through personal stories, insights and advice. Recent contributors to My Story/My Advice include PepsiCo SVP of Global Foods R&D Heidi Kleinbach-Sauter and Iowa Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds.

According to Debra Chipman, CEO of IIR USA, the WIS Summit and the My Story/My Advice Project were inspired by and aim to address two serious and growing problems: the shortage of STEM talent at companies in the U.S. and the shortage of women in STEM-related fields.

“The new jobs being created increasingly require STEM competencies and skill sets, but market data all indicate that the talent supply will not meet demand,” Chipman said.  “This trend seriously threatens our ability in the U.S. to compete, and IIR is committed to its abatement.”

“The Women in STEM Summit and the My Story/My Advice Project will provide support, access and opportunities to women in STEM and the companies that need their skills to thrive in a rapidly changing environment,” said Chipman.

WIS Summit Chair Julie Kantor, VP & Chief Partnership Officer at STEMconnector, echoed this sentiment, noting that more than 70% of jobs created in the United States will require core STEM skills—fields and disciplines in which women have historically been significantly underrepresented.

“The Women in STEM Summit fits perfectly with our Million Women Mentors initiative to address the urgent need for STEM talent at corporations and the need to attract qualified women candidates to these fields through internships, job opportunities and mentorship,” said Kantor.

For corporations, the WIS Summit provides access to potential interns and employees and a forum for professionals in corporate social responsibility and diversity and inclusion roles to meet and share ideas and information with peers at other leading companies.

In addition to a range of networking and interactive groups and sessions, the WIS Summit will include presentations and panels featuring experts from leading companies on subjects like engaging the next generation of STEM professionals, increasing STEM recruitment and retention rates and development of internal initiatives in support of creating a more diverse, competitive corporate culture.

The American Institutes for Research (AIR)—a WIS Summit partner and sponsor—will also present key findings from research into why diversity in STEM matters, factors contributing to women getting stalled early in their careers and why women and African-Americans are most likely to leave STEM careers.

For women students attending the event from multiple colleges and universities, the WIS Summit will offer direct exposure to industry professionals and representatives from companies to learn about and potentially secure internships, mentoring and, ultimately, careers that pay as much as 33% more than those in non-STEM fields.

“The Center for Women and Business at Bentley University is pleased to host the Women in STEM Summit again this year as part of our mission to help women reach their full potential in the workplace,” said Betsy Myers, a Summit Advisory Board member and Founding Director of The Center for Women and Business at Bentley University. 

“Our students attend because the Summit connects them with world-class companies that recognize the competitive advantage that women pursuing coursework in science, technology, engineering and math can bring to their organizations,” Myers added. 

For more information about the Women in STEM Idea Exchange Summit taking place October 22, 2015 please visit the website:

For the My Story/My Advice Project, please visit

IIR USA, a subsidiary of Informa PLC, is among the most recognized and trusted providers of conferences and expositions; seminars; training events; and specialized learning and networking experiences. IIR USA conceives and executes nearly 200 proprietary events annually supporting a portfolio of major industries, professions and fields of business interest. By facilitating connections between companies, individuals and communities, IIR events drive innovation, inspire excellence and help businesses and professionals grow.

For more information, visit

Krista Lentini
Marketing Manager 


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