GE is the world’s Digital Industrial Company, having transformed the sector with software-defined, connected and predictive machines and solutions. Now it’s out to level the playing field and transform the workforce to greater gender equality.
Continuing its commitment to advancing women in science and technology and STEM education, the brand is lighting up the hallowed halls of Grand Central in New York City, running today through September 21.
Part of its corporate commitment to Balance the Equation announced in February, the custom-designed animations, based on the iconic constellations, will illuminate the faces of 12 female scientists and engineers.
— gecareers (@GECareers) July 4, 2017
In addition to its internal diversity goals, GE has been publicly celebrating influential female scientists and engineers and supporting organizations like The Society of Women Engineers to encourage more young women to consider careers in STEM fields.
From the first woman to win the National Medal of Science in Engineering, to the first woman to kill cancer cells with lasers, GE’s Unseen Stars projections are a 7-minute running daily until midnight through 9/21.
The audience for the animations will be the 750,000 people who travel through Grand Central every day. Passersby will have the opportunity to capture a selfie with the individuals on the ceiling, and geofilters and Facebook Frames are available to all.
GE’s ongoing campaign celebrating female scientists kicked off with this ode to the (now late) Millie Dresselhaus, the first woman to win the National Medal of Science in Engineering, kicked off GE’s campaign:
On September 6th, it followed up with this ode to Molly, an inventive lass whose childhood creativity stands her well on the job:
As GE CMO Linda Boff told Adweek, “We think that celebrating people, in this case women, who have had great achievements is far more important than celebrating people who are famous for fame’s sake.”
“There are people out there—Millie Dresselhaus is the one we’ve chosen to highlight—who have done remarkable things and deserve admiration and adulation and holding up those women as role models is a really fun way to shine a light on what we’re calling balancing the equation and addressing what is this industry-wide challenge of getting more women in STEM. While we’re really proud of the nearly 15,000 that we currently have in technical roles we’re talking about adding 36 percent more.”
GE’s goal with Balance the Equation is to see 20,000 women hired for STEM-related jobs in USA by 2020 in order to achieve a 50% gender balance in entry-level technical programs.
The initiative was inspired by research showing that just 14% of US engineers and 25% of IT professionals are women. However, women outnumber men in higher education.
“Unless we bring more women into technology and manufacturing, there will be a significant negative economic impact on the sector,” said GE Chief Economist Marco Annunziata. “This is a problem for business to actively address.”
Given GE’s portfolio of products and services, the Balance the Equation initiative is a boon to its own needs. As the company notes, “Without more women in manufacturing, GE expects the skills gap to widen, resulting in decreased productivity and diminished potential of digital technologies to transform the manufacturing industry. The company believes that the commercial imperative, coupled with the ongoing challenges of recruiting and retaining top female talent in STEM jobs, means organizations must make real and continued investments in closing the gender gap.”