Tesla’s participation in events such as Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day may not get a lot of mainstream media coverage, but it does show that the electric car maker continues to do what it can to help shrink the pervading gender gap in STEM industries.
Similar to recent years, Tesla hosted a group of female students for a day of fun activities, some of which were held at the main Fremont factory, where the Model S, Model X, and Model 3 are built.
Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day is an annual effort that’s designed to support girls’ interest in the world of engineering. The event offers female students the opportunity to get an early hands-on experience in the engineering field. The event partners with several companies for the program, and Tesla has been an active participant for years.
In 2018, for example, Tesla hosted a group of students at Gigafactory Nevada, where girls spent the day with female STEM career professionals working at the massive battery facility. Last year, several Tesla locations hosted different groups of students, from factories like Fremont to delivery centers. Recent images posted of this year’s event suggest that Tesla hosted students at the Fremont factory and some delivery centers as well.
Interestingly enough, female students who visited Tesla’s facilities this year were graced by the presence of several officials, including senators Anthony Portantino, Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris, Assemblywoman Luz Rivas, and Fremont Mayor Lily Mei. Fellow Fremont city officials Rick Jones, Raj Salwan, and Greg Tanaka also visited Tesla’s facilities and the students.
Tesla’s participation at this year’s Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day helps reduce the pervading gender gap in the STEM field. According to the United Nations, just 30% of researches worldwide are women, and only 35% of all students enrolled in STEM-related fields of study are women. What’s more, women working in generally male-dominated fields like engineering are typically paid less than their male counterparts, despite performing the same tasks and showing the same quality of work.
TY Senators Hill and @Portantino; @AsmCottie, @AsmLuzRivas; Mayor @LilyMei4Fremont, Rick Jones, @RajSalwan, @GregTanaka for celebrating #IntroduceaGirltoEngineeringDay by encouraging students visiting @Tesla facilities statewide to pursue #engineering #manufacturing careers! pic.twitter.com/HPZvpxP09i— Dan (@renewelectrons) February 24, 2020
In a way, Tesla’s participation in Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day highlights the company’s stance on female empowerment. It’s rarely addressed, but both of CEO Elon Musk’s companies have powerful women at the helm. SpaceX is incredibly successful and dominating in the space industry today in large part because of the brilliance of President Gwynne Shotwell, and Tesla seems to have tempered itself following the rise of Robyn Denholm as company chairwoman.
And it’s not just women either. Last year, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation’s 2019 Corporate Equality Index (CEI) listed Tesla as one of the best companies for LGBTQ workers in the United States, with the electric car maker earning a perfect score in its rankings. The HRC cited Tesla’s LGBTQ-friendly work policies, such as equal health coverage for transgender individuals, equivalency in same and different-sex spousal medical and soft benefits, and policies that actively prevent discrimination based on their gender orientation, as reasons for the company’s high rankings.
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