Special to The Dallas Examiner

Fewer than 1 in 10 minority women will be employed as scientists and engineers, according to a National Girls Collaborative Project study. Racial and ethnic female groups are significantly underrepresented in the science and engineering workforce despite an increase over the past two decades.

To bring more awareness to this issue, DeSoto Independent School District will be hosting the Female Leadership Forum for young ladies Oct. 21 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at DeSoto High School, located at 600 Eagle Dr.

The event aims to empower and encourage girls in grades 5 through 12 to realize their full potential through the exposure of STEM-related career fields.

“As a mother of two daughters, I find great value in the opportunity to expose my daughters to events such as this, to introduce them to opportunities and forums where they can develop their personal selves, to become a little stronger in understanding who they desire to become as adults and professional women,” said Sandre Moncriffe, DeSoto ISD Board of Trustees member.

Presenters and speakers will hail from various career fields such as medicine, science and technology to encourage further participation in the traditionally male-dominated STEM field, with surprise special guests.

“The Female Leadership Forum is an opportunity to encourage our young ladies to continue to dream and to set goals to accomplish those dreams,” said David Harris, DeSoto ISD Superintendent of Schools. “As a father and educator, this is the type of exposure I desire for my daughter, an opportunity to see professional women who look like her and that are actively successful in a career that she desires to pursue.”

The forum creates a space for the participants to surround themselves with their peers and potential role models to create opportunities for personal development and inspiration while, at the same time, preparing them to be future problem solvers.

“In Desoto ISD, student development isn’t just relegated to the classroom,” said Cheryl Ensley, DeSoto ISD Assistant Superintendent of Federal Programs. “We aim to provide opportunities to develop the whole student – socially, emotionally and academically. Providing opportunities for our young ladies to discover careers through the lens of experienced, professional women is a phenomenal exposure piece that could act as a catalyst for a student’s decision pursue new and innovative pathways of study or careers, some of which may not even exist yet.”

For more information and registration, visit https://www.desotoisd.org/femaleleadershipforum.

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