The Women’s Foundation of Arkansas Girls of Promise initiative received a $100,000 investment from Acxiom, an Arkansas customer intelligence company and longtime supporter of the WFA. The Girls of Promise initiative provides opportunities and mentors in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields to increase the number of girls in STEM courses and careers. Acxiom also renewed its commitment as the initiative’s presenting sponsor.
The Women’s Foundation of Arkansas was founded in 1998 with the mission to ensure economic security for Arkansas women and girls through collaboration and focused philanthropic investment. Through grant making, research and the Girls of Promise and Women Empowered initiatives, the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas is investing in solutions that allow women and girls to move up the economic ladder and reach their full potential. The WFA intentionally focuses these efforts on reaching underserved communities, young women of color and high-poverty areas in Arkansas.
Research shows there is a significant disparity between women and men in STEM careers. Although nearly half of the United States workforce are women, they comprised only 27 percent of STEM workers in 2019, while men made up 52 percent of the U.S. workforce, and accounted for 73 percent of STEM workers.
In addition to Acxiom’s investment and presenting sponsorship, the company will host interns for the second consecutive year as a sponsor company of the WFA’s Tjuana Byrd Summer Internship Program in 2022. This program, developed for college-aged women of color pursuing careers in STEM fields, matches interns with Arkansas-based companies to provide participants chances to gain experience, build professional networks and have access to diverse college-to-career pipelines.
“We are so proud of our continued partnership with Acxiom,” said Anna Beth Gorman, executive director of the WFA. “Their investment in our Girls of Promise Initiative makes it possible for us to reach young women across our state, and work innovatively with a cross section of stakeholders to address gender and racial gaps in STEM based high demand careers. It also sends a message to other corporations about the value and role women play in our STEM economy.”
Janet Cinfio, CIO at Acxiom, says the company believes that investing in girls and women has an important impact on creating stronger families and communities.
“We are passionate about helping the next generation of leaders pursue their dreams through STEM careers,” said Cinfio. “We are proud to sponsor the WFA’s Girls of Promise initiative and the Tjuana Byrd Summer Internship Program to help girls envision themselves pursuing a career in STEM. When girls and women are empowered with education and opportunities, the benefits extend to their families, their communities, and the global economy.”