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J&J partners to develop women leaders through education

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NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — Johnson & Johnson announced today that it is partnering with leading nonprofit organizations FHI 360 and JA Worldwide to advance the education of young women and girls in science, technology, engineering, math, manufacturing and design (STEM2D).

Through these partnerships, the company said it intends to reach 1 million girls between the ages of 5 and 18 by 2020.

Johnson & Johnson described its efforts as part of a broader initiative aimed at accelerating the development of women leaders and to support women at all stages of their life to improve global health and well-being and drive sustainable economic growth.

“We know that there are many barriers that exist for young girls and women to gain exposure to and advancement in STEM2D-related fields,” said Kathy Wengel, worldwide vice president of Johnson & Johnson supply chain. “I’m confident that with the partnership of FHI 360 and Junior Achievement Worldwide, we’ll have the global reach and influence to spark interest of girls in these fields to open up brand new possibilities for them.”

Johnson & Johnson said it aims to spark enchantment with STEM2D disciplines through creative problem solving and play, which can lead to a higher success rate of young women enrolling in and completing higher education, and ultimately pursuing careers, in the STEM2D fields.

Programs for this initiative will be focused on tailored activities that reach young women and girls through multiple approaches across in-school and out-of-school curricular activities and community-based events.

“We’re committed to solutions that have positive, long-lasting effects on this generation and for those to come. This collaboration allows us to reach young women and girls in new and unique ways,” said Ivan Charner, director of FHI 360’s National Institute for Work and Learning. “Careful research and analytics show that building awareness and increasing girls’ knowledge and engagement will help influence their decision to enter STEM2D careers.”

Said Asheesh Advani, chief executive officer for JA Worldwide, “Women’s economic equality is good for business, good for the global economy and good for society. JA is already a place for girls to learn entrepreneurship, financial literacy and workplace readiness skills on equal footing with boys. This partnership allows us to create even more opportunities for girls to specifically build STEM2D skills and confidence. Getting more girls into STEM2D careers will be an increasingly important driver of economic growth in the future.”

Johnson & Johnson said it also intends to increase enrollment and graduation rates of undergraduate women in STEM2D fields. It has declared partnerships with the nonprofit organization the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) and nine leading academic centers around the world, including Caltech, Harvey Mudd College, Instituto Tecnológico de Aeronáutica (ITA – Brazil), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Rhode Island School of Design, Rutgers-New Brunswick Honors College, Spelman College, University of Limerick, and University of Tokyo.

“Johnson & Johnson supports women inside and outside the company in many ways, from talent recruitment and retention to women-focused innovation and philanthropy initiatives,” said group worldwide chairman Sandi Peterson. “We’re proud of the progress we’re making toward building a diverse workforce around the world and the contribution we are making to healthier lives and healthy communities.”


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