The pandemic has certainly shaken up the careers of thousands across the Empire State. In many schools, there is an increased effort to facilitate the future of the workforce and equal representation in it.
Overall, more than 50% of all undergraduate students are female. At Le Moyne College, administrators are trying to raise the number of those in majors, concerning science, technology, engineering and mathematics - better known as STEM.
The workforce across the nation and even the globe is changing. It's part of the reason Terri Mitchell runs the Stempower program at Le Moyne.
“They have aptitude, they have interest. Let's retain them in their majors. Let's get them ready to hit the ground running when they leave Le Moyne.,” said Mitchell. “A lot of businesses are focused on diversifying their workforce, and they're focused on recruiting efforts. But if the women are leaving college with these important degrees that businesses aren't going to be able to diversify because the numbers just aren't going to be there."
One of her star pupils within the program is Marcella Christensen.
“It is very rewarding," said Christensen. “I've been a mentee, I've been a mentor, and I can see the relationships that you have in the advice that you received; how to make yourself more.”
A senior cybersecurity major, Marcella has taken away vital lessons to succeed as her major, science and technology become key skills in the years to come. But first, a boot camp of sorts on campus to help with the basics.
“How to make yourself marketable to them. And honestly, how to do well in an interview for, whether it's graduate school or a full time position or even an internship,” said Chistensen. “I think we'll get some really good tips and some really good pointers to use in our future positions.”
Christensen and others involved in the Stempower program pride themselves on their sense of community and mentorship so that women are encouraged to get involved and stay involved for the future.
“There's been a few other resources that are kind of broken up, but this is the first time everything's really being put together in one big session to really prepare us for the workforce or for posts under undergraduate endeavors,“ said Chistensen.