STATE COLLEGE — AccuWeather on Thursday launched a series of national #DressForSTEM initiatives to raise awareness and support for girls and women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education and careers.
Coinciding with Pi Day 2019, an annual celebration on March 14 of mathematics and the mathematical concept of Pi (3.14), AccuWeather's campaign will include a series of programming segments on the AccuWeather Network and other companywide initiatives to raise awareness of opportunities for women within STEM industries and promote STEM careers for women.
AccuWeather is a longtime partner of ABC-owned stations in major markets throughout the U.S., many of which are also celebrating women in STEM careers Thursday on their broadcasts. Participating stations include KGO, San Francisco; WPVI, Philadelphia; KFSN, Fresno; and WTVD, Raleigh-Durham.
As part of the campaign, State College-based AccuWeather, the world's largest provider of weather forecasts and warnings as well as a leader in digital media, business and analytics, is encouraging its more than 500 team members to wear purple to work Thursday. For the second consecutive year, AccuWeather's logo on its digital properties, including its mobile website and social media channels, will "turn purple" in recognition of the #DressForSTEM campaign.
"Today is a moment when the country is called to action, to consider the importance of encouraging and supporting women and girls as they strive to pursue their dreams," said AccuWeather's Trish Mikita, senior meteorologist and vice President of Content. "AccuWeather is proud to be shining a light on the critical importance of this issue. Whether it is meteorology, weather sciences, engineering, mathematics or any other STEM field, we need to do all we can to ensure the female leaders of tomorrow have a network of support and opportunities today."
Viewers of the AccuWeather Network will note the "L Bar," which runs down the left side of the screen and across the bottom, will be purple on Thursday and a STEM STRONG series of related segments will be featured among its regular programming, including:
• STEM STRONG: THE WOMEN OF ACCUWEATHER
Top female talent from the network share their stories on how an interest in weather led to a science-focused education and set them on a path to their current career success;
• STEM STRONG: WHY WOMEN MATTER
Science stalwarts highlight the significant roles women in science have played through the years, and what inspired them to follow their passion; and
• STEM STRONG: ACCUWEATHER'S FIRST WOMAN METEOROLOGIST
Kathleen Borawski Francis Heller became AccuWeather first female meteorologist. Her hiring was certainly noteworthy at the time, given that meteorology was a male-dominated field, but it didn't take long for her to be accepted for her unique talents.
Across the board, STEM fields have remained significantly male-dominated. While women make up nearly half of the nation's workforce, they only account for just over a quarter of STEM jobs. And according to the American Meteorological Society, women hold nearly 30 percent of all weather broadcaster positions; however, they represent less than 10 percent of chief meteorologist positions.
AccuWeather's campaign seeks to raise awareness of the importance of recruiting more girls and women into STEM fields and that meteorology provides a rewarding science-based career. To commemorate the day and participation in the campaign, women meteorologists and their colleagues - both male and female - wear purple to celebrate women in STEM careers and to encourage girls to pursue education that will lead them to STEM careers.