Women continue to be underrepresented in the technology industry. At the leadership level, just 5.2 percent of CEO positions are held by women. Research shows that we need to engage young women early through sustained efforts starting at the elementary school stage, and then in universities and workplaces to help level the playing field. When girls don’t get exposed to STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) at the grade school level, they are unlikely to pursue STEM in college, and this leads to the scarcity of women in tech careers that we see today. This isn’t simply an ethical issue either – research shows that more diverse organizations consistently out-perform those with a more uniform workforce.

Girls’ Day, also known as Girls’ Day – ‘Future Prospects for Girls’, is a nationwide program initiated by the German Government’s Center of Competence for Technology, Diversity and Equality to introduce young female students to technological studies and female role models in leadership positions across STEM. Since its initiation in 2001, technical enterprises, universities, and research centers across different countries have participated in the nationwide event. Today, Girls’ Day is considered to be the largest career orientation program in Germany, and one that’s yielded great success, including a significant increase in female professionals in technical fields. Participating organizations have also reported receiving a 40% increase in inquiries on internships and job opportunities following the planned events. In 2017, more than 10,000 institutions offered nearly 100,000 places for female students to gain knowledge on technical careers through hands-on workshops. The official website for Girls’ Day also shows a high level of participation, with around 10,000 events held annually for about 1.8 million girls.

HARMAN knows diversity is critical in driving business innovation and progress. On April 26th, HARMAN Women’s Network, a group focused on topics related to women including attracting and developing top female talent, welcomed female students ages 10-16 to our offices in Germany across Munich, Straubing, and Karlsbad to educate tomorrow’s female leaders on STEM careers in honor of Girls’ Day.

HARMAN’s Munich office invited six young female students from the Berglwald Hauptschule school in Oberschleissheim to attend a presentation on HARMAN and an introduction to our vision and technology by touring our Consumer Products showroom and car laboratories. HARMAN leaders also discussed their careers in STEM, across Quality Testing, Engineering, HR, and more. To conclude the event, the students were given a fun, hands-on technical project to complete with Becker Automotive System LEDs. The students were tasked to check if the conductors had any cracks or short circuits, and if so, to find a solution. The students were given a handful of tools to aid in fixing the broken LEDs, such as side cutters and tweezers. The six students also rotated from three different stations (Soldering, Infotainment and Car Audio Car Lab) where they learned about audio acoustics and gained hands-on experience from our highly trained acoustics engineers.

Straubing welcomed eleven girls to learn about the production of machinery. To gain an understanding of a technical profession, we provided the girls with equipment to create their own “rolling clocks” by leveraging typical techniques such as brazing and soldering. The girls were allowed to take home their projects as a souvenir and left with new knowledge about technical professions.

A group of eight girls joined the team in Karlsbad for a guided tour of our offices and sound lab. In the sound lab, the girls received a demo and learned more about the critical role of acoustics engineering in quality audio solutions. To finish the day, the girls got to assemble their own Becker LED sign, which was also put into operation afterwards and underwent functionality testing.

As an organization that takes pride in mentoring and educating the next generation of professionals, HARMAN’s employees across Germany were excited to participate in an impactful event that is aimed at exposing young female students to technical roles.

Another way HARMAN is committed to educating tomorrow’s inventors and leaders across science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) is through our corporate responsibility efforts. For a second consecutive year, HARMAN and the 1,000 Dreams Fund partnered to launch the second #NewFaceofTech Challenge, a national scholarship program for young women aspiring to pursue careers in STEAM. Additionally, in recognition of the great contributions of female leaders in STEAM, HARMAN in collaboration with the 1,000 Dreams Fund hosted a moderated panel discussion on the opportunities and challenges facing women in STEAM at an invitation only event on International Women’s Day at the HARMAN Flagship store in New York City. For more information on the scholarship campaign: https://news.harman.com/releases/harman-and-the-1-000-dreams-fund-launch

We’re always looking for bright minds with a background in STEM and a passion to deliver solutions that will benefit both consumers and enterprises. If you’re passionate about science and technology and are looking to positively impact tomorrow’s innovations, check our open positions: https://jobs.harman.com/