Million Women Mentors, founded in 2014, celebrated its 5-year anniversary Thursday. MWM, an initiative of STEMconnector, is a national and global movement, energized to spark the interest and confidence in women and girls to pursue science, technology, engineering and math careers and leadership opportunities through the power of mentoring.
This movement was founded on the premise that by working together, through collaboration, people can start conversation, heighten awareness, and showcase people, projects and partnerships that are advancing opportunities for girls and women.
Through the network, Million Women Mentors has celebrated over 1.7 million mentor relationships and over 2.3 million pledges to mentor to date.
Tennessee was one of the initial states to be part of the U.S. movement when Sheila Boyington, president and CEO of Thinking Media, engaged Chattanooga early on as MWM’s inaugural National States chair. The effort has spread across the state of Tennessee over MWM’s first five years, and successes were acknowledged during several anniversary celebrations in Chattanooga. There are also efforts in over 40 states nationally and many countries.
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee hosted “Rising Together by Mentoring” consisting of professional sessions on leadership and mentorship in STEM fields as well as a speed mentoring event for high school girls from Gestamp’s Pre-Apprenticeship Program, Harrison Bay Future Ready Institute and Girls Preparatory School.
Event hosts and speakers included: Diane Ball of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, Sheila and Dr. Dane Boyington of Thinking Media and Million Women Mentors, Lulu Copeland of Million Women Mentors Tennessee, Lisa Nausley of Sandler Training, Kim Shumpert of Chattanooga Women’s Leadership Institute, Dr. Curtis Campbell of Information Systems Security Association’s Chattanooga Chapter, Sharon Law of Thompson Engineering, Keely Anderson of The Double Cola Company and Daisy Maurya-Ballard. Mentors included aforementioned speakers as well as Sherri Zink, Jennifer Butler, Jennifer Weaver, Denise Matthews and Maureen Lowe from BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee.
Earlier in the day, Chief Executive Officer Dr. Elaine Swafford hosted “STEM Women” dialogue at Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy led by a panel of four student mentees from their external mentorship program sharing “because of my mentor” stories, followed by a mentorship panel featuring Marjorie Parsons of Tennessee Valley Authority, Kim Stone of W.R. Grace, Dr. Mina Sartipi of UTC and Lilian Bruce of EPB, moderated by Lulu Copeland of Million Women Mentors Tennessee.
An “Hour of Code” event was also held for high school girls through Girls Inc. of Chattanooga at Chattanooga State Community College using the Learning Blade platform.
Support for these events was provided by DosBros Fresh Mexican Grill, The Double Cola Company, Five Star Food Service, Gig City Girls and Learning Blade.
To read more about these and other Million Women Mentor anniversary celebrations, search #MWM5YearCelebrationDay on Twitter. For more information on MWM-TN, follow @MWMTN on Facebook.