In the United States, the number of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) jobs is projected to grow by 17 percent at least through 2018. Likewise, in the European Union, demand for STEM professionals and associate professionals is expected to increase by 8 percent by 2025.
STEM professionals play a major role in fueling innovation, and as innovation has been long recognized as a catalyst for economic success, organizations that support STEM education are not only helping prepare our future workforce for success, they also are investing in the future success of their communities and the global economy. Thomson Reuters is one of those organizations.
Inspiring our future innovators
Around the world, Thomson Reuters partners in a variety of ways with academic institutions, governmental programs, nonprofits, and our own employees to champion STEM education and programming. The goal of these efforts is to provide access to learning opportunities for young minds, revealing both the scientific and creative facets of STEM.
“For so many of us, technology is a constant in our daily lives,” said Stewart Beaumont, Thomson Reuters Chief Technology Officer. “Even so, the science that powers our devices and tools remains a mystery for so many. With our reliance on technology continuing to grow, it’s important to provide opportunities for our future innovators to learn about and experiment with the science behind it.”
Offering hands-on experience
That’s exactly what Coder Dojo (the open source, volunteer led, global movement of free coding clubs for young people) sets out to accomplish and why Thomson Reuters and our employees have partnered with Coder Dojo to host a number of “Dojos” over the past several years.
“Dojos” are local, independent, volunteer-led programming events for youth. We’ve held several Dojos in New York City, London, and soon on our Eagan, Minnesota campus, providing hundreds of children around the world with hands-on coding experience using tools like Scratch, HTML/CSS and and Codester. In some cases, we’ve hosted Dojos that combine our passion for STEM with our commitment to Corporate Responsibility and Inclusion, like one focused on making coding and technology accessible for the visually impaired, and another just for girls.
Teaching skills and building confidence
Another organization we are proud to support is Apps for Good in the UK. Apps for Good brings a technology-focused, flexible, and fun curriculum to students (and their teachers) at a variety of educational institutions. The 10-to 18-year-old students work in teams to define an issue they care about, and then use technology to create a product addressing that issue.
Thomson Reuters is a sponsor of the Information Category in Apps for Good’s annual Apps for Good Awards. Examples of winning products in our category include “I’m Okay,” an app providing support and information for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people, and “Fear Nothing,” an app designed to help young people face their phobias and overcome them by making fears fun. Watch the WJ Stars team talk about their Fear Nothing app:
Students who participate in Apps for Good not only learn technical skills, but also gain exposure to concepts like idea generation, product design and development and marketing. What’s more, they also get real-life lessons in problem-solving and collaboration, and get a boost to their social skills and confidence.
Working to ensure opportunity for female technologists
With disparities in women in STEM fields in the U.S., the UK and more broadly, the question around how to encourage more girls and young women to pursue opportunities in STEM requires special focus. This is especially true when you consider the important role diversity plays in innovation, as research continually shows diverse teams produce more innovative products and better financial results.
Thomson Reuters does our part to provide opportunities for budding women technologists. For example, in addition to our girls-only Coder Dojo event, employees at our Eagan, Minnesota campus have, for several years, hosted daughters of Thomson Reuters employees for a full-day Girls Coding Camp where they gain hands-on experience with technology through exposure to coding fundamentals, as well as project design and implementation, in a collaborative and fun environment.
We also are a sponsor of the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, the world’s largest gathering of women technologists, which annually hosts thousands of women — including high school and college students — and provides a career fair for women exploring opportunities in technology. Thomson Reuters vice president and chief technology officer for FindLaw, Lisa Schlosser, also serves on the Board of Trustees for the Anita Borg Institute.
In Minnesota, we also sponsor the annual Aspirations for Women in Computing awards, honoring young women in grades 9 through 12 for their computing-related achievements and interests.
Making STEM accessible for all
Our efforts to increase access to STEM education and programming and career opportunities in technology extend beyond the gender gap. We work with organizations like the Page Foundation, whose mission it is to encourage youth of color to pursue post-secondary education, and with Genesys Works, which focuses on providing opportunities to underprivileged high school students. Through our work with Maverick Software, we also help provide a diverse range of computer science students with real-world software development and testing experience.
Thomson Reuters also provides various grants, scholarships, internships, and job shadowing opportunities in partnership with local and state governments, academic institutions, and industry associations who share our goal to prepare the STEM professional of the future to continue to create and innovate to help themselves, their communities, and our global economy thrive.
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