Award-winning Editor Rena Pederson To Address America’s Gender Gap in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math in April 4 Lecture Presented by Texas Instruments and Girls Incorporated of Metropolitan Dallas

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‘What is a STEM Girl?’ lecture offers insight into past, present and future of girls and women in these critical fields

Texas Instruments and Girls Incorporated of Metropolitan Dallas, a champion for girls and young women, will present a lecture, “What is a STEM Girl?,” on Wednesday, April 4, 2012, at 6:30 p.m. in partnership with The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture. “STEM” is an acronym for science, technology, engineering and math, and the event addresses the origin of the gender gap in these male-dominated professions, as well as prospects for equality.

Author Rena Pederson, Communications Director for the National Math and Science Initiative, a non-profit organization that addresses America’s declining math and science achievement, will discuss female participation in scientific and technical fields. How did science, engineering, math and technology come to be associated with men? What are the societal pressures, gender stereotypes and barriers for women in these fields, and what does the future hold for women in these professions?

“While women and men are more equally represented in today’s white-collar workforce, there’s still a significant gender gap in STEM careers,” says Pederson, whose accomplishments include being named one of the most powerful women in Texas by Texas Monthly in 1987. “Those are the high-paying jobs of the future, but girls are being left out of the equation. So, how can we empower girls to engage and close the gap?”

Pederson previously served as Senior Advisor for Strategic Communications for the Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs in Washington, D.C. She also served for 16 years as a vice president and editorial page editor at The Dallas Morning News. In 1992, she was among the finalists for the Pulitzer Prize in editorial writing. She later served as a member of the Pulitzer Prize Board for nine years. Rena Pederson’s books include “The Lost Apostle,” “What’s Next? Women Redefining Their Dreams in the Prime of Life,” and “What’s Missing? Inspiration for Women Seeking Faith and Joy in Their Lives.”

During the discussion segment of the April 4 program, Girls Incorporated of Metropolitan Dallas alumna Bianca Bailey will help answer questions as a panelist. A chemical engineering major at Howard University, Bailey is one of 12 recipients nationwide of the 2011 White House Champions of Change award for her STEM initiatives. Bailey attended Girls Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas programs for nine years and credits her hands-on STEM exposure during the program as key in selecting a STEM career. Currently, she mentors at a Girls Inc. affiliate in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

This lecture is the concluding program in Girls Inc.’s inaugural 2011-2012 series, “What is a Girl?,” which takes a critical look at how girls have been envisioned from ancient mythology to today’s popular culture and tomorrow’s leadership in science and technology.

“As an organization dedicated to the empowerment of all girls and young women, the development of an annual lecture series is a part of our strategic vision to heighten the level of intelligent discourse about girls in our community and society,” says Girls Inc. CEO Lori Palmer. “The theme, ‘What is a Girl?’ has proven to be a complex and captivating subject. We could not have picked a better partner than The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture.”

As with all the lectures in this series, the event begins with a reception with wine, cheese, fruit and coffee at 6 p.m. This event is on Wednesday, April 4 at The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture located at 2719 Routh St., Dallas; admission is $25. Pederson will present at 6:30 p.m. and then lead a discussion with the audience.

Register online for “What Is a STEM Girl?” at or by contacting Lisa Rossi at or 214-654-4553. Seating is limited to 100. Leading sponsor of the program is Texas Instruments. Sponsors include Kroger, Dallas Business Journal, WRR Classical 101, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts of Dallas and American Airlines.

About Girls Incorporated of Metropolitan Dallas
Girls Incorporated of Metropolitan Dallas aims to inspire all girls to be Strong, Smart, and BoldSM. For more than 40 years, Girls Inc. has provided effective life skills and enrichment programs that empower girls to take daily charge of their lives. At four campuses, Girls Inc. offers learning and development opportunities for personal effectiveness, academics and career planning so that girls ages six to 18 are inspired to lead successful, independent and fulfilling lives. To learn more, visit

About The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture
The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture is a nonprofit educational organization whose purpose is to enrich and deepen the practical life of the city with the wisdom and imagination of the humanities. The Dallas Institute accomplishes its purpose through programs for schoolteachers and principals, general courses of study, public and professional seminars, publications, conferences and civic involvement. For more information, go to

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