How to Attract and Retain Women in STEM Roles

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Women are vastly underrepresented in STEM jobs and among STEM degree holders despite making up nearly half of the U.S. workforce and half of the college-educated workforce. That leaves an untapped opportunity to expand STEM employment in the United States, even as there is wide agreement that the nation must do more to improve its competitiveness. According to the Department of Commerce, although women fill close to half of all jobs in the U.S. economy, they hold less than 25 percent of STEM jobs.
This has been the case throughout the past decade, even as college-educated women have increased their share of the overall workforce.  There are many possible factors contributing to the discrepancy of women and men in STEM jobs, including: a lack of female role models, gender stereotyping, and less family-friendly flexibility in the STEM fields This session will share how organizations can uncover more diverse STEM talent as-well-as showcasing techniques to retain and advance the female talent already on the payroll.  This session will also highlight key barriers that companies face in retaining female talent while providing viable strategies for any size company.


Leadership Expert & Author for Professional Women;
President, Purposeful Woman & Tech Savvy Women

JJ DiGeronimo, the president of Purposeful Woman and Tech Savvy Women, is a professional speaker and author who began her career designing computer infrastructures for Fortune 500 companies after graduating with a computer information systems degree in 1994.

Through her speaking engagements, keynote addresses, workshops, videos and webinars, JJ shares effectiveLeadership Strategies for Professional Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).  She is regularly called upon to consult on diversity strategies by senior executives, especially on how to empower, promote and increase the number of women in STEM leadership positions.

Throughout her career, JJ has made a positive impact in Technology and, specifically, STEM.  Her accomplishments and contributions are many, including:

  • In 1998, recognized as The Impact Player of the Year at the high tech company Inktomi

  • In 2004, featured in Entrepreneur Magazine for her company, TechStudents, the largest database of technology graduates that spanned across 300 colleges, universities and technical schools

  • In 2005, presented with the Innovation Award in 2005 from the Small Business Network

  • In 2008, launching Tech Savvy Women, a networking and professional development group formed to empower and celebrate women in Technology.  The group now has over 1000 members across 3 cities

  • In 2009, in her position at VMware, co-creating Women on Purpose, a diversity initiative to empower women in the technology industry and support career advancement within VMware

  • In 2010, publishing “The Working Woman’s GPS” to empower professional women to excel in all areas of their lives

  • In 2010, launching a leadership blog for professional women called Purposeful Woman

  • In 2011, honored with the Next Generation Indie Book Award for “The Working Women’s GPS”

  • In 2012, named one of the Top 25 People in Technology by “Inside Business Cleveland”

  • In 2013, co-authored “Confident Woman, Tapping into Your Inner Power”

  • In 2013, initiated Women in STEM video channel to Showcase women in STEM

  • In 2014, became a strategic Advisor for the companies STEMPoweredKids, CoolTechGirls and Her Ideas in Motion

Prior to her recent mentoring, presentation and writing work, JJ had a 20 year career in high tech, advancing into leadership positions within Silicon Valley-based technology companies including VMware and Inktomi.  She regularly leverages relationships with leadership in numerous companies, along with hundreds of hours of research, to provide women in STEM a relevant perspective and proven strategies for career advancement.

JJ is a regular guest on TV and radio shows and has been featured in numerous publications including Working Mother Magazine, Fox Business, Woman’s Magazine, SHRM, Woman’s Day Magazine, The Glass Hammer, the Grindstone, ITWorld, Career-Intelligence and Rescue a CEO.  She has shared her insights and discoveries with many corporations and women’s organizations including CISCO, Symantec, Sears Holding Company, Jo-Ann Stores, Inc., RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology), WITI, YWCA, Timken, VMware, Bad Girl Ventures, and Dress for Success.

JJ lives with her husband & two children in Cleveland, Ohio.