Jaipur, 21 August, 2019: As part of its commitment to advance skills and careers of female students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields, 60 members of the IBM Asia Pacific Leadership team today engaged with students of the Government Senior Secondary Girls School in Amer, Rajasthan.
As a part of this volunteering engagement, close to 160 high school girl students from Class 9-12 were introduced to new collar skills including basics of coding, science and robotics through hand-on learning projects. In addition, mentoring sessions held with IBM executives introduced students to STEM and explained different aspects of STEM careers – skills needed, kinds of roles and responsibilities, career pathways and opportunities for growth. Interspersed with learning were some fun activities including joint wall painting and fireless cooking. This is for the first time in India when over 50 senior regional and global leaders from across the Asia Pacific region volunteered at a Government school on a single day.
This unique group of leaders represents more than 15 nationalities with in total over 1 000 years of professional experience. Almost half of the group are female leaders, all of them ready to step in as mentors and role models for others. And the male leaders in the group are in their professional capacities always supportive in finding talent in their team members and give opportunities to people to bring their full potential to life. This group includes award-winning leaders including: Harriet Green, CEO and Chairman of IBM Asia Pacific; Karan Bajwa, Managing Director of IBM India/South Asia; Abraham Thomas, Managing Director of IBM Singapore; Katrina Throughton, Managing Director of IBM Australia and New Zealand; Patricia Yam, General Manager IBM ASEAN, and Andrew Chang, General Manager of IBM South Korea.
“I’ve always believed in the power of mentoring, role models and impact of positive leadership on communities and employees. Leaders have a responsibility to nurture the next generation of talent and give them the opportunity to gain knowledge and hands-on experience in technology, project management and business leadership. If you can see it, you can be it. This engagement in Jaipur is only one small part of IBM’s overall programme in India, but a very unique and significant one, thanks to the diversity of talents we brought together –from girl students as well as IBM’s international leadership team,” summarised Harriet Green, CEO and Chairman of IBM Asia Pacific.
Commenting on the engagement, Smt. Manjulata Dhageya, Principal – Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Amer said ‘’Our girls face many challenges balancing their home and school. But they are sincere and they want to do better. IBM’s program in our school today will go a long way to build confidence in the girls to understand and learn science and technology and to pursue these disciples in the future. It has helped the girls to get introduced to a world of opportunities and expand their horizons beyond their everyday lives. We had a very fruitful day today and we hope IBM leaders and its partners can continue to work with our students and teachers to mentor and help them in their future goals.’’z
In March this year, IBM announced a significant engagement in India to advance the skills and careers of more than 200,000 (2 lakh) female students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields. The collaborations began with signing of agreements with three state governments—Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh—and are planned to widen to several other states in the next few months, including Rajasthan. Today over 50,000 girls are being enrolled across 600+ govt schools across the country for the Stem for Girls program to learn coding and new collar skills. The program will enrol hundreds of more schools in the coming months.