Mentoring the next generation of women leaders

STEM - 13 June 2023

To overcome gender biases and help young girls feel confident to build a career in STEM, Infineum US’ Women’s Affinity Group recently volunteered to mentor high school girls at a Women’s Future Leadership Academy event in New Jersey. This is in line with our sustainability approach, as we strive both to inspire young people into a career in STEM and to help more women have successful and gratifying careers.

The event was organised by Junior Achievement (JA), the largest US organisation dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills to make smart academic and economic choices and was part of a collaborative girl empowerment series.

The series brings together volunteer professionals from different company backgrounds across the state of New Jersey to share advice and lead mentor activities.

Christina Salgueiro, Fixed Cost Business Leader, explained: “It is great when we have opportunities to live our core values, and because our organisation strives to make a positive impact on the next generation of leaders, partnering with JA makes perfect sense. The Women’s Future Leadership Academy event brought together a diverse group of professional women to share their personal experiences, learnings, and best practices, to support local young women’s growth and career aspirations.

The event started with inspirational talks by women speakers, followed by interactive small-group activities, which were led by volunteer professionals, including our Infineum team.

Activities included a 1-1 mentoring session to help the girls develop their elevator pitches and understand the importance of networking. There was also a session on problem-solving exercises and an activity that helped the girls build skills in critical thinking and communication.

Cianyl Pogata, Procurement Category & Services Leader (pictured below), who took part in the mentoring, found the experience incredibly rewarding. She said: “As a high school student, you get so caught up with the pressures of college decision-making and choosing a major, you forget the most important thing – realising how great a person you’ve become! This workshop helped me, and my mentee understand how far we’ve come in life, and how we can offer our great qualities to impact change.”

All our volunteers felt that they had made a positive influence on the futures of the young women, and the experience had also inspired them too, as Liliana Lourenco, Driveline Technology Team Leader, confirmed: “I arrived at the event hoping to help and make a positive impact on a future female leader.  I didn’t realise by the end of the day, I would also feel empowered, moved, and inspired by everyone in the room.  I’m looking forward to participating in this event again in the future as we look to make it an annual tradition.”

Our Women Affinity Group members used their ‘volunteer day’ to support the event. The volunteer day is a benefit that Infineum offers to every employee globally and consists of an extra day of annual leave that can be used to support their community. It is part of our Sustainability approach and helps us deliver on the UN sustainability goal 3 (Supporting people and communities).

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