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Ambassador Russell Announces APEC Initiatives to Advance Women and Girls in STEM Fields
February 29, 2016

Media Note


U.S. Department of State

Office of the Spokesperson

Washington D.C.

February 26, 2016

Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Cathy Russell announced three new U.S. initiatives today at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Advisory Council Women’s Forum. These new efforts aim to address barriers that prevent women and girls from advancing in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields.

The first two initiatives Ambassador Russell announced focus on research and policy planning. The public and private sectors have worked for years to advance the status of women and girls in STEM education and careers. The United States will support a regional study to take stock of where the APEC region stands on policies and programs to advance women and girls’ participation and access to STEM education and careers.

The study will help APEC economies and the private sector better understand the success of work in this area by highlighting active initiatives and best practices in the APEC region, identifying gaps in regional efforts, and providing policy recommendations on how APEC economies can close these gaps.

Those findings will lay the foundation for a two-day regional workshop supported by the United States in August, when government officials and private sector representatives from the APEC region will discuss outcomes of the study, exchange best practices, and plan a policy road map to better engage and empower women and girls in STEM.

Ambassador Russell also announced that the United States is sponsoring a two-week science, technology, engineering, arts and design, and math (STEAM) camp for adolescent girls, which will bring together girls from Peru, Mexico, Chile, and the United States. Conducted in Spanish, the camp will give girls hands-on learning experiences, connect them with mentors from a range of fields, and help empower them with the confidence and skills they need to consider higher education and careers in STEAM.

Experts and private sector leaders will provide world-class curriculum and cutting-edge technology and participate as teachers and mentors for the campers. Local teachers will also participate, which will help prepare them to sustain the program. The curriculum and program will be made available for other APEC economies to use.‎

For more information on these efforts, please contact SGWI_PA@state.gov.

For more information on the State Department’s work on global women’s issues, visit http://www.state.gov/s/gwi/.