Dubai, United Arab Emirates: As part of our overall commitment to creating greater equity in our communities, business practices and workplaces, 3M is setting a new global, education-focused goal. The company will advance economic equity by creating five million unique STEM and Skilled Trades learning experiences for underrepresented individuals in the field by the end of 2025.
Advances in science and technology continues to disrupt the global economy. For businesses to be able to succeed, a diverse workforce with the skills and mindsets born out of access to STEM education will be an important factor. In 2020, 3M introduced an online video library of easy, at-home science experiments – Science at Home, providing students, educators, and parents accessible learning platform and serves as an additional learning resources that can be accessed and implemented anywhere.
“The importance of preparing young minds to adapt to future job-market demands is paramount. Here is where the importance of and emphasis placed on STEM education lies. As an engine for global digitization, STEM has the ability to transform our methodology to education through a cohesive learning approach. At 3M applying science to solve real-world challenges is what we are all about. For this reason, we are committed to building the skills and knowledge in each of these four disciplines and empowering the STEM stars and scientists of the future,” said Ani Roustemian, Regional Director HR Operations Middle East & Africa.
Experiences being tracked toward 3M’s new goal include scholarships, internships and robust student services, varying experiential learning opportunities, 3Mgives monetary investments, and volunteerism. In Middle East & Africa, 3M has been actively promoting STEM through the Science at Home program, which was incepted at the onset of COVID-19. In UAE our R&D and application engineers taught our children science through virtual live sessions as part of the KHDA Dubai Saturday Clubs.
In South Africa, 3M worked with Play Africa one the leading NGO which purpose is to promote and ensure that STEM reaches out to underrepresented communities. Play Africa’s “I am a Scientist” educational enrichment programme bridges opportunity gaps and promotes equitable outcomes in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
“We’re helping create a new generation of African leaders in science and skilled trades by ensuring students and teachers at previously disadvantaged primary schools have the tools and resources they need to succeed in STEM,” said Play Africa CEO Gretchen Wilson-Prangley.
More than 7,500 children are taking part in Play Africa’s “I am a Scientist” educational programme, which features a 340 m2 science exhibition that will launch in Soweto, South Africa, later this month. It also includes an online programme that introduces children to diverse STEM role models in live, interactive sessions.
“Our goal is to unlock pathways to new careers, broadening participation in STEM and showing every African child that she or he can become a scientist,” said Wilson-Prangley. "Promoting equity in science and STEM in South Africa means changing mind-sets, fighting racial and gender biases, and challenging historical stereotypes that limit children's professional goals. Science engagement and outreach programmes - like Play Africa's 'I'm a Scientist' programme - will unlock new possibilities for children traditionally excluded from, and under-represented in, STEM fields.”
“As a global science, technology and manufacturing company that operates across an incredible number of industries, 3M has the unique capability and opportunity to introduce all people to STEM and trades skills careers,” said Vice President of Community Relations, Michael Stroik. “That introduction can start with an experience that gives someone a peek of what could be or fully opens their mind to a path of opportunities they may or may not have ever been thought about. We want to be the catalyst to that spark, five million times over.”
“STEM and trade skills education has been a focus for the company for quite some time, but we felt it was important to publicly commit to support those who’ve been historically underrepresented and under invested in. We believe everyone deserves access to impactful and possibly life-changing STEM experiences. Also, publicly sharing this goal further demonstrates our commitment to equity, transparency, and accountability,” Ani Roustemian added.
Starting Jan. 1, 2022, the experience-focused goal will be measured through the number of 3M-supported learning experiences in which individuals participate, including those pursuing credentials or degrees linked to family-sustaining job areas in STEM or skilled trades. Results will be reported publicly on an annual basis.
Look to the 3M News Center for future updates on 3M’s progress toward the goal and for personal stories from 3Mers who are making an impact by taking part in or leading an experience.
© Press Release 2021