Women in STEM careers: ‘There is so much potential’

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Group of graduates throwing their hats in the air

A young woman from Texas hoped to study computer science in college. But the program was too demanding to complete while working two part-time jobs. Tuition was too expensive to pursue his chosen degree.

That all changed when he was awarded two scholarships British American Foundation of Texas. The exceptional young student immediately changed his major and graduated with the degree he preferred.

The scholarship had a cascading effect. The woman, now in a well-paid IT job, helps her entrepreneurial brother as he develops his business.

Two other siblings are working harder than ever at school. The university is in their sights. If their sister did it, so could they.

“It’s really satisfying to know that we’ve helped a woman, but the impact is much greater than the sum of its parts,” says Kay Thomson, BAFTX Executive Director.

Since 2006, BAFTX has provided STEM and business-based scholarships to Texas students who excel academically but also face financial barriers. In 2020, the nonprofit instituted the Women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) grant because “only 28 percent of the STEM workforce today is female,” Thomson explained. “The sector is missing.”

Enbridge has contributed to BAFTX’s general scholarship fund since 2012. When we heard about the organization’s new Women in STEM grant, we wanted to support this initiative—to give girls and women more opportunities to succeed in STEM—and now donate $10,000 each year. Fueling Futures scholarship to finance two scholarships per year.

We are proud that many of the organizations we support through our Fueling Futures grants focus on developing the potential of girls and women, whether through career and personal development, leadership opportunities, and STEM education.

In 2022 and 2023, we helped nurture the future of girls and women through these North American organizations:

  • The YWCA YWHISPER Gala, in Calgary, AB, raises funds for critical services for women and families. We sponsored this year’s gala with a $5,500 grant.
  • Build a dream supports career development, and Dreamer Day celebrates women working in underrepresented industries such as STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math). Enbridge Gas has been supporting this organization since 2017.
  • The SPARK Leadership Conference for Women, Fort St. John, BC, encourages attendees to step into their greatness and advance their careers. We are an annual sponsor with $5,000 in Fueling Futures grants.
  • Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta It helps girls between the ages of 6 and 18 learn to be strong, smart and brave, developing the necessary skills to break free from gender stereotypes and create change. We support this group with an annual $2,500 Fueling Futures grant.
  • Williams County Soil Conservation District’s North Dakota Ladies Ag Night connects women in the agriculture industry, promoting their work and the sector. We recently helped with a $1,000 grant.
  • The Homewood Science Center In Homewood, IL, she runs the Girls STEAM Success Club, which provides after-school programming to middle school girls that helps them develop skills, explore STEAM careers, and set goals. We supported this team in 2022 with a $7,500 donation.
  • The Detroit Area Pre College Engineering Program Offers advanced STEM courses to students in Kindergarten through 12th grade to foster interest in future STEM careers. We donated $25,000 to support DAPCEP in 2022.
  • The Terrebonne Foundation for Academic Excellence She hosts the Girls Who Code Summer Camp in Houma, LA, a week-long learning experience for girls focused on STEM and the notion of being “Brave Not Perfect.” We gave $2,500 in support in 2022.

Thomson believes there is an untapped resource about women in STEM.

“There’s so much potential there,” he says. “We have to take advantage of this potential. We must remove barriers to ensure that STEM careers can be accessed, boost our economy and make a meaningful contribution to our industries.

“We don’t want to lose what (women and girls) have to offer.”

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At Enbridge, our name represents our mission: a bridge to a sustainable energy future. That bridge safely connects millions of people around the world to the energy they rely on every day and fuels their quality of life. Whether it’s natural gas, oil or renewable energy, the energy we deliver through North American grids and our growing European offshore wind portfolios heats homes, powers families, fuels vehicles and supports the energy industry. We are investing in modern energy infrastructure to maintain access to secure and affordable energy. We also draw on two decades of experience in renewable energy to advance new low-carbon energy technologies, including hydrogen, renewable natural gas and carbon capture and storage. We are committed to reducing the carbon footprint of the energy we provide and to zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

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