Biotechnology startup founder, Industrial designer, Analytical Chemist. Stemettes has opened up new career opportunities for thousands of girls in the male-dominated fields of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). With support from Salesforce, thousands more are set to follow in their footsteps. “Girls are often deterred from following STEM career paths, which needs to change,” said Stemettes’ Co-founder Anne-Marie Imafidon.
To inspire the next generation of scientists, technologists, engineers, and mathematicians, Stemettes runs panel events, hackathons, exhibitions, and mentoring schemes across the UK. The events are aimed at girls between the ages of five and 21. “We want to enable girls to make informed decisions about careers in STEM at the right point in their education,” said Jacquelyn Guderley, Stemettes’ co-founder. “In the UK, the proportion of women working in STEM industries is just 14%; by 2030, we’d like that to be 30%.”
Founded in 2013 with a team of volunteers, Stemettes has gone on to win the backing of the corporate and academic world. In 2015, it delivered 37 workshops and 8 public events across the UK. In the three years since its launch, almost 10,000 girls have attended Stemettes experiences. “We don’t just want to preach to the choir; we want girls to tell us how we can support them,” said Guderley. “With Salesforce, we can not only simplify how we manage events, but also how we measure their impact.”
Stemettes asks participants to provide ‘pre-back’ and feedback to gauge how their interest in STEM as a career has been influenced by one of their events. For example, following a panel event in Chester in 2014, the number of participants interested in pursuing STEM subjects as a career increased from 35% to more than 50%.
By capturing this data in Sales Cloud, Stemettes can spot trends and share metrics with schools and sponsors funding the events. “With Salesforce, we can spend more time reaching out to new Stemettes and less time shuffling paper. It helps us achieve our goals for growth.
Before Sales Cloud, survey responses had to be entered manually, which took hours,” explained Imafidon. “The girls now use an app, which is integrated with Sales Cloud, so their responses are recorded automatically. As we continue to organise more events, this will save us a huge amount of time.“ The app, which is called OtotheB, provides access to a range of experiences, including work shadowing Salesforce employees as part of the company’s philanthropic 1-1-1 Model.
Imafidon and Guderley have both experienced first-hand the challenges facing today’s generation of Stemettes. At university, Imafidon was one of just three women in a class of 70 studying math and computer science. “There won’t be more women leaders if we don’t encourage more women into STEM careers,” said Imafidon, who holds the world record for the youngest girl to pass A-level computing – she was just 11 years old.
In 2014, Imafidon won Rising Star of the Year at the Everywoman awards, which led to a chance meeting with Salesforce Vice President of EMEA and APAC Melissa Di Donato. From this, a new partnership was born.
The Salesforce Foundation supports Stemettes with not only technology but also funding and mentors for its Outbox Incubator. “Before we started using Salesforce, a lot of information was stored in our heads,” explained Guderley. “If we weren’t together, that information was out of reach.”
Now, with Sales Cloud and the Salesforce1 Mobile App, the seven-strong team can access detailed records of events and Stemettes’ profiles from the office or on the go. “We have set up an event checklist on the Salesforce1 Mobile App, which helps us keep track of progress when meeting with sponsors and speakers,” said Guderley. The Salesforce1 Mobile App also means the team can look up people’s profiles during an event, and add new contact details without the hassle of swapping business cards.
Stemettes doesn’t just want to inspire girls at one-off events, it also wants to nurture long-term relationships and turn internships into careers. Its Outbox Incubator programme provides seed funding, intensive mentoring, and support to girls who have innovative business and technology ideas.
When the girls graduate from Outbox, alumni stay in touch using Chatter. “With Chatter, we can flag up new opportunities, and continue to drive inspiration across our alumni,” says Imafidon.
Stemettes also uses its app to drive ongoing engagement with the thousands of girls that have attended its events. Every time a girl responds to a competition, campaign, or offer, it’s linked back to her profile in Sales Cloud. Having such detailed relationship histories not only simplifies event and campaign management, but also opens the world of analytics. “With Salesforce, we have greater visibility of what girls are interested in, and how we can serve them better,” explained Guderley.
The Stemettes’ team will also be able to capture individual success stories as girls leave education and embark on their careers with the STEM workforce. “Every Stemette is a future role model. We need to be able to prove our achievements, so we can continue to attract sponsors, customers, and mentors,” said Imafidon.
As well as embracing data science, Stemettes wants to explore building communities for mentors and girls, as it expands into more cities and countries. “Our dream for 2017 is to help girls beyond the UK, for example in Kenya and Chile,” revealed Imafidon. “The beauty of Salesforce is that it can scale with our ambitions. Knowledge is power, and, with Salesforce, we have the knowledge and the power to succeed.”