Once Again, A Highly Qualified Woman of Color is Pushed Aside

On September 5, Rhode Island held a special primary election to select the candidates to replace David Cicilline, who resigned as US Representative for USC District 1. The field for the Democratic candidate was crowded with 12 names on the ballot. Due to the deep Blue color of RI politics, the Democratic candidate, whoever was selected, was considered the odds-on favorite to win in the Special General Election in November.

Gabe Amo, Democratic Nominee for Congress (Image credit: Gabe for Congress)

As of June, Sabina Matos, the current Lt Governor, was leading comfortably with polling numbers surpassing 20% of the electorate. Matos is the first Dominican American elected to statewide office in the country and the first Black woman to hold statewide office in Rhode Island. She was supported by the campaign arm of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

However, a possibly trumped-up scandal involving a vendor that submitted fraudulent nominating signatures derailed her candidacy in July. Matos collected more than enough valid signatures to qualify as a candidate, but the bad publicity seriously undermined her campaign. There are legitimate questions about whether the blowback was out of proportion to the mistake, whether any other candidate would have been criticized so harshly. It cost her the nomination.

After that the race became a three-way contest between Matos, former State Rep Aaron Regunberg, and former Obama aide Gabe Amo. In something of a surprise, Amo clinched the nomination in the election.

One: AAUW Announces STEM Sessions for High School Girls, Caregivers for 2023-2024

The American Association of University Women announced innovative, interactive STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) sessions for high school girls and their caregivers for 2023-2024. This year, AAUW will expand its outreach to girls and caregivers of color with an emphasis on Black/African American and Latina communities.

AAUW STEMEd for Girls seeks to close the gap between men and women in STEM fields by helping girls identify STEM careers and overcome obstacles that keep women out of STEM, 

“AAUW is breaking down barriers and igniting a passion for STEM in young women,” said Gloria L. Blackwell, CEO of AAUW. “By fostering early interest and providing guidance, we will diversify and fortify the future of women pursuing careers in STEM.” 

Research shows that girls have been tracked away from STEM fields because of systemic gender and racial biases, which significantly narrows their educational and professional choices later in life. The result is that the gender gap in STEM fields has been a persistent issue, with women representing just 28% of the STEM workforce.  

“In this upcoming session, we don’t just talk academics – AAUW STEMEd for Girls delivers problem-solving skills, like ways to cope with math anxiety, test-taking anxiety, and other real-life challenges that deter girls from STEM fields,” said Leshell Hatley, Ph.D., AAUW’s Director of STEM programs. 

Details and registration for the free, online STEMEd for Girls program can be found on AAUW’s website: https://www.aauw.org/stemedforgirls  

For more information on AAUW, please visit the website:


Two: Illinois Announces $1 Mil Federal Grant for Women in Trades

Women in the Illinois trades will be getting a boost from the federal government after Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced more than $1 million in funding for job assistance. Illinois Department of Labor Director Jane Flanagan said the goal of the funding is to include more women into the field. The grants are a part of a $41 billion infrastructure plan implemented to fix roads, bridges, and highways in Illinois.

The initiative is part of the $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill championed by the Biden-Harris administration. It is part of “a new era in our efforts to diversify an industry that has historically lacked job opportunities for women, and particularly for women of color,” Pritzker explained. “We may still have a long way to go in dismantling decades’ worth of barriers, but we’re making progress on building that future today.”

Pritzker said Illinois will always be a state that supports its labor workers.

“This is a city and a state that has played an important role in the struggle for labor rights,” Pritzker said. “From the 1887 Haymarket affair to the 1894 Pulman strike to the passage of the worker’s rights amendment to our state constitution just last year, Illinois has been for many, many years at the forefront of fighting for fair wages, reasonable hours, and safe working conditions for all people.”

To read the full press release, please follow the link below:


Three: First Grants for Girls Make Games

LearnDistrict Inc. today announces the first recipients of its four year college scholarship fund for women and non-binary people aiming to join the games industry. LearnDistrict Inc. is the educational media company behind Girls Make Games, a renowned STEM development program for girls and non-binary students worldwide to learn and develop the technical and artistic skills required to enter the interactive entertainment industry.

The Girls Make Games Scholarship Fund (GMGSF), established in Fall 2022, combines professional development and financial support to ensure underrepresented students have the opportunity to access STEAM programs at an early age. The first three recipients (Nichole Lin, Allena Oglivie, Monica Paredes) of the fund will each receive a $10,000 grant ($2,500/year) over four years, and be directly sponsored by Sony Interactive Entertainment, Humble Bundle, and the GMGSF community respectively. In addition, the recipients will receive industry mentorship, internship placement support and career-readiness and job placement assistance as a fund recipient.

“Giving every girl and woman the opportunity to discover their potential through game development is at the core of Girls Make Games’ mission,” said Laila Shabir, founder of Girls Make Games. “With the Fund and the support of our industry partners, we are extremely proud that our first College Scholarship recipients can now bridge the financial, knowledge and community gap that our alumni have experienced over the years.

For more information on the College Scholarship Fund, eligibility requirements and the details of the first three recipients visit https://www.gmgsf.org/college-scholarships

Girls Make Games (GMG) is a program from the educational media company LearnDistrict Inc. It has been providing STEM development programs to girls and non-binary students worldwide who are interested in gaining skills required to enter the video game industry. It has reached more than 23,000 students in nearly 150 cities across 20 countries through its workshops, summer camps, tutorials, and games..

For more info visit https://gmgsf.org/

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20230906035972/en/


Four:  Girls Who Invest receives Funding from PEWIN

PEWIN Foundation, the non-profit arm of Private Equity Women Investor Network, announced the recipient of its first grant: Girls Who Invest (GWI).

Launched in 2019, PEWIN Foundation leverages the philanthropic power of senior women in private equity to advance gender equality. The PEWIN Foundation 2023 grant of $15,000 will help support the financial needs of college students interning at private fund managers and institutional investors through GWI’s Summer Intensive Program.

Girls Who Invest (GWI) is a non-profit organization dedicated to transforming the investment management industry by attracting and advancing women investors, changemakers, and leaders. GWI enables college students to explore investment management careers through its two tuition-free educational programs.

Only 6% of senior private equity leaders are women, and only 6% of the largest institutional money managers are led by women chief investment officers. GWI aims to bring more women and non-binary individuals into investment and leadership roles through education, mentoring, and internships.

The Summer Intensive Program combines in-residence academic training led by top university professors with a guaranteed paid internship at one of more than 100 leading investment management firms. The Online Intensive Program is self-directed and asynchronous, allowing independent learners the opportunity to master finance and investing fundamentals at their own pace from renowned training organizations.

Girls Who Invest’s vision is for 30% of the world’s investable capital to be managed by women by 2030. www.girlswhoinvest.org

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20230818011440/en/

This press from PEWIN release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20230818011440/en/

Five: 10 Ways Science Wants to Help Women Stay in STEM after Motherhood   

Studies in the United States suggest that about 50% of women scientists in the U.S. leave science after motherhood. To address this problem, a group of Spanish scientists, who are themselves both women and mothers, published an article in the journal PLOS Computational Biology under the title “Ten simple rules for a mom-friendly academia.” The goal is to create a friendlier environment to prevent women from leaving academia after motherhood.

These guidelines cover a range of issues, from support during pregnancy to work-life balance, including career advancement opportunities. They propose measures such as support during pregnancy, childcare and breastfeeding and the school phase, actions aimed at organizing, making research and teaching activities more flexible and equitably distributed, and measures for the career advancement of mothers, thus combating mental health problems, discrimination and harassment.

Esther Sebastián-González, lead researcher from the Department of Ecology at the University of Alicante (UA), says these ideas will benefit not only trans mothers and fathers, but also parents, caregivers of dependents, women, and even the academic community at large. It is imperative that academic institutions take proactive steps to promote gender equality and empower all people, including mothers, in the development of their scientific careers, Sebastián-González stated.

Proposed benefits also include technical support for pregnant women for field and laboratory work, flexible working hours and remote working, and consideration of maternity and paternity leave in selection processes and eligibility criteria for grants and research positions. They also call for the creation of crèches and breastfeeding centers at work and at scientific meetings, flexibility in working hours and location, and giving priority to parents with children in the selection of teaching hours during school hours.



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