Tips for Industry Participation
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Tips for Industry Participation Introduce A Girl to Engineering Day February 2006 Overview The Business Case for Industry Participation Tips for Planning Tips for Conducting Your “Day” Tips for Follow-up & Gathering Lessons Learned Things that Didn’t Work for Us The Business Case Senior management support for participation is vital. Determine how “Girl Day” fits into your company’s community relations mission. Seek advice from your company’s gurus on United Way, Junior Achievement and other programs. Be willing to start this as a grass-roots initiative and grow it into a “corporate” initiative like we did. Convince management with statistics – view them on the Notes Page for this slide. Volunteering in Girl Day program may increase retention of your female engineers. ExxonMobil’s participation history: Started as a grass-roots effort in 2004 at 3 sites with 40 volunteers and 125 girls. In 2006, we’ve grown the program to 11 sites, 200 volunteers and 2700 students. See Notes Page for 2006 sites. Planning Tips Start planning early – December is not too early to start. Coordinate with other company sites, local universities, Girl Scouts, other companies, local engineering societies. Work closely with your Public Affairs group for media contacts; They can also leverage off of existing relationships with community organizations. Decide if you will do an on-site program or school visits. Develop a budget. Talk to teachers and get to know your audience so your program will be age appropriate. Find out if special accommodations are necessary for safety, security, special needs students. Get volunteer commitments before you finalize your plans with schools. Provide written expectations to your volunteers. Recruit at least one or two volunteers to be emergency back-ups. Test your experiments and demonstrations with students. Develop a detailed agenda – but stay flexible. Execution Tips – K.I.S.S. Start with info on fire drill & restrooms. Provide a mix of activities: ice-breaker, hands on experiments & demos, team competitions, tours, panel discussions, Q&A, See Note Page for resources. Keep each segment short, interactive and lively, especially “speeches”; Use photos and props if giving a “How I became an engineer” presentation. Lunch should be simple and allow time for conversation with women engineers. Have senior mgmt “drop in”. This benefits the volunteers more than students! Answer questions in terms girls can relate to. For example, your starting salary as engineer means you can rent a nice apartment, buy a new car, etc. Tell the girls “what next”, such as summer engineering camps at local colleges. Provide a “goody” bag with SWE brochures, trinkets with company logo, “Just us Girls” t-shirts, list of websites on engineering schools & careers, Remember to provide pertinent handouts to teachers and guidance counselors. Have some fun! Follow-up Tips Survey students and teachers but keep it simple. Survey volunteers on what worked and didn’t. If conducting at multiple sites, share learnings soon after the event. Thank all the volunteers, preferably with a note from management or copied to management. Provide a thank-you gift where appropriate. Oops – Things that Didn’t Work Don’t assume the school knows exactly how long it will take to get to your site , park and/or check in. Avoid swivel chairs for students – it’s like a toy! A heavy lunch is an invitation for an afternoon nap. For classroom visits, if demos are short, have more than you need in case you have extra time. If multiple presenters will be doing classroom visits, provide a presentation that doesn’t require (or invite) too much customization by each presenter. Don’t use demos or experiments where only a few kids get to participate. (Avoid the “500 Students at an Assembly” syndrome) Try not to let employees confuse this with “Take your child to work day” unless that really IS your intent. If the media attends, try not to let them be too intrusive.