Sodexo Applauds Million Women Mentors for Surpassing 650,000 Mentors of Girls and Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Careers

Mar 22, 2016 3:45 PM ET

GAITHERSBURG, Md., March 22, 2016 /3BL Media/ - Sodexo, a leading provider of integrated facilities management and foodservice operations, today applauds the outstanding work and achievement of the STEMConnector® Million Women Mentors (MWM) initiative for securing more than 650,000 pledges from science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) mentors. In just two years, the organization has passed a major milestone toward reaching its goal of one million STEM mentors for girls and women by 2019.

Celebrating the achievement, Sodexo along with other MWM corporate and nonprofit partners were joined by more than 20 U.S. Senators and Congressional leaders at a March 15 luncheon in the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill. Participants spoke regarding the importance of MWM and inspiring more women and girls in under-represented communities to pursue science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education and careers.   

“As the 19th largest employer in the world with women representing 43 percent of its board of directors, Sodexo sees the overall value of  gender balance in the workplace, including businesses that are home to STEM careers,” said Michael Norris, Chair of Communications and Branding, Million Women Mentors and CEO, Hospitals, Sodexo North America. “Gender balance and STEM mentoring are not solely about equality, which of course is important; it is also about fostering talent discovery and significantly enhancing business performance as a result.”

MWM has participation from 65 partner organizations, 48 corporate sponsors and 35 state leadership teams across the U.S.  It also works with 13 Lieutenant Governors and one Governor acting as Honorary Chairs for their respective states. At the March 15 event, members of the Executive branch, Congress, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and United States Department of Agriculture also made pledges to support this movement. 

As a founding sponsor of Million Women Mentors, Sodexo and other MWM partners are dedicated to increasing access to STEM education for girls and young women, broadening participation from ethnic minorities, and improving persistence and retention in STEM careers.

US Senators speaking at the event included Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY); Bob Corker (R-TN); Tammy Baldwin (D-WI); Debbie Stabenow (D-MI); Kelly Ayotte (R-NH); Maize Hirono (D-HI); Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH); John Boozman (R-AR); Sherrod Brown (D-OH); Cory Booker (D-NJ), Maria Cantwell (D-WA); Amy Klobuchar (D-MN); Joni Ernst (R-IA); Mike Enzi (R-WY); and Bob Casey (D-PA). They were joined by Congresswomen Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Barbara Comstock (R-VA) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL),  Congressman Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN), Under Secretary of the USDA, Dr. Catherine Woteki, and Under Secretary of Commerce and Director of the US Patent and Trademark Office, Director Michelle K. Lee. 


About Million Women Mentors

Million Women Mentors is an initiative of STEMconnector(R), and supports the engagement of one million Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) mentors (male and female) to increase the interest and confidence of girls and women to persist and succeed in STEM programs and careers. Through five dedicated pathways to mentoring, MWM leads a national call to action to empower women through mentor relationships. By the end of 2016, MWM will operate internationally in six countries. Did you know: 71% of American jobs in 2018 will require STEM skills? STEM jobs pay 92 cents on a dollar for women; and 96 cents on a dollar for tech jobs. Interest in STEM at the time of graduation has declined among women, with only 15.6% vs. 44% of men. Only four percent of the 368,000 women who plan to pursue STEM said a mentor encouraged them, according to research from My College Options. Employees who mentored were promoted six times more often than their peers who did not mentor. 

Sodexo in North America

Sodexo, Inc., leading Quality of Life services company in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, delivers On-site Services in Corporate, Education, Health Care, Government, and Remote Site segments, as well as Benefits and Rewards Services and Personal and Home Services. Sodexo, Inc., headquartered in Gaithersburg, Md., funds all administrative costs for the Sodexo Foundation, an independent charitable organization that, since its founding in 1999, has made more than $27 million in grants to end childhood hunger in America. Visit the corporate blog at Visit Sodexo on Facebook and follow on Twitter @SodexoUSA.



Sam Wells