Cherokee Nation Tribal Councilor Janees Taylor with Robin Bernstein, the newly selected ambassador to the Dominican Republic at the Million Women Mentors Advancing Women and Girls STEM Careers Through Mentoring Senate luncheon. Photo Courtesy/Million Women Mentors
Published March 24, 2017
Cherokee Nation partners as mentor to advance girls in STEM careers
WASHINGTON — Cherokee Nation Tribal Councilor Janees Taylor, of Pryor, was among a select few invited to attend the Million Women Mentors Advancing Women and Girls STEM Careers Through Mentoring Senate luncheon in the nation’s capital earlier this month.
The event held March 15 was attended by 18 U.S. senators and about 130 guests, including some governors and corporate leaders, to advance the career choices among women and girls in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.
The mission of Million Women Mentors is to support two million STEM mentors by increasing the interest and confidence of girls and young women to persist and succeed in STEM careers by 2020.
Taylor, who has a degree in accounting and is a Certified Public Accountant, is on the advisory board of the Native American Council for the Million Women Mentors movement.
She attended the Senate luncheon—where the guest speakers included Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-NH, among others—as well as a STEM leadership council meeting and reception.
“Women comprise 50 percent of the workforce, but only 25 percent of the jobs in STEM careers are held by women,” Councilor Taylor said. “When you look at engineering and science careers, only 1 in 10 of those jobs is held by minority women. There has never been a focus on Native American women in STEM careers. I am happy to see Million Women Mentors developing a board to specifically target Native American Women to mentor in STEM careers.”
According to Million Women Mentors, 40 states, including Oklahoma, have pledges and committees to help with the movement.
A STEM Council meeting was held March 16 to network those in STEM fields together and was attended by leaders from companies such as Deloitte, Chevron, Verizon and others.
“It was truly a pleasure to have Janees Taylor as our guest at our MWM Senate Luncheon and our STEM Council meeting,” said Director of Million Women Mentors Kim Grimes. “We were honored to have the Cherokee Nation represented this year and hope this is the beginning of a fruitful and long-lasting partnership.”
The Cherokee Nation has pledged to be a partner in mentoring more Cherokee females to consider careers in STEM fields.
The Cherokee Nation provides robotics kits to dozens of schools within the tribe’s 14-county jurisdiction to encourage STEM activities. Nine young females are on the robotics team at Sequoyah High School.
A new 469,000-square-foot outpatient health facility being built by the Cherokee Nation in Tahlequah in 2019 will also bring more than 800 new health jobs.