The Women’s Leadership Council (WLC) of PPG is dedicated to creating an environment that attracts, retains and advances women in the workplace. PPG’s WLC will be volunteering at San Fernando Institute for Applied Media during DIY Girls’ Latina Hour of Code. DIY Girls, in partnership with The Eva Longoria Foundation and Google LA, will provide hands-on coding workshops to 200 girls in underserved communities in Los Angeles during the 2016 Week of Code in December 2016. The workshops shall serve as an opportunity to expose young Latinas to computer science concepts, explore potential career opportunities, and encourage them to continue doing STEM-related activities following the workshop.
Professional women engineers from PPG, Northrop Grumman, and the Society of Women Engineers have committed to sponsoring a school and will be trained to deliver workshops. These professionals will serve as role models and mentors to the young girls, as research shows that students who have mentors and encouragement are more likely to continue in STEM education; this is especially important for underrepresented minorities and women.
Over the summer, members of the WLC’s West chapter did their part to advance the DIY Girls mission by volunteering at the “Summer Showcase” of DIY Girls in Pacoima, California. The Summer Showcase celebrated the success of girls in fourth through eighth grades on their summer projects in woodworking, electronics and art made with code. PPG volunteers – who came from the company’s aerospace and architectural coatings sites in southern California and Utah – assisted with the set-up and clean-up of display areas, as well helped to register the participants and led an interactive workshop.
“The goals of DIY Girls align well with what we believe in and strive to achieve as members of the WLC,” said Catherine Bartles, a process applications development engineer at the aerospace research and technology site in Burbank, California. “It’s important to encourage all children as early as possible in their studies to pursue science and technology-related fields. When we heard about the Summer Showcase, we knew we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get into our local community and begin making meaningful relationships with the girls who are working today to become the leaders of tomorrow.”