For PPG employees Elena Rebollar González and Rosa Maria Rodriguez Izquierdo, an opportunity to job shadow and explore the daily work of real scientists and engineers was unrealistic when they were students. The opportunity to experience a manufacturing site first-hand was simply not available. Today, Elena and Rosa, together with their colleagues, make this experience a reality for dozens of teenaged girls in Spain.
Elena and Rosa are amongst nearly 24 employees at PPG's automotive coatings sites in Camarma and Valladolid, Spain who worked with STEM Talent Girl, an initiative of ASTI Talent and Technology Foundation that offers young women a glimpse into their own possible future careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
Introducing engineering and manufacturing possibilities
Through a PPG community engagement grant, girls between the ages of 14 and 17 for nine months were given access to STEM Talent Girl masterclasses, job shadowing sessions with mentors from various fields, STEM workshops, events and visits to companies to introduce them to engineering and manufacturing as part of the program’s STEM for Her activities.
Rosa, a PPG quality control technician, introduced the aspiring innovators to the lab where she works on the quality control of products for global automobile brands. Meanwhile, Elena, PPG supply chain planner and replenisher, shared her daily routine of planning and scheduling manufacturing plant production processes. It’s in these experiences that Rosa and Elena hoped the students could find their interests and future career aspirations.
“By giving young girls the chance to see what a career in science can hold, we can help inspire them to become the next generation of great female pioneers,” said Rosa. “It’s incredible to witness their reactions to our work, their curiosity to learn and their drive to experience and excel in STEM.”
Career paths and workshops
In addition to encouraging future career paths, PPG offered additional workshops with our employees focused on environment, health and safety, quality control, plant operations, information technology, laboratory services, human resources, and production and maintenance; conducted visits to our sites; and organized hands-on experiences with the girls.
The effort also featured the Mentor Women program, an additional component of STEM Talent Girl that links the older students and future graduates with successful women in STEM fields who accompany and guide them in their academic and professional development.