STEM + business + 3M = Women Mean Business
May 15, 2017

High school women who wonder, “can I combine my interests in STEM studies and business?” can find answers through the Women Mean Business program hosted by the Carlson School of Management (CSOM). 3M is a generous supporter of this program designed to inspire young women with an aptitude for business as well as STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math).

Helping young women see possibilities

Although many high school women can envision what a traditional STEM career might look like—in engineering, for example—they don’t always understand how strong math and science skills apply in the business world. “The reality is that the business world evolves rapidly and is demanding these talents for a variety of career paths. We want these women to see the possibilities,” says Jen Fuhrman, director of recruitment and admissions at CSOM.

3M a major presence

The summer residential program on the Twin Cities campus is open to high school sophomores and juniors with a GPA of 3.5+ and an interest in STEM fields. “In seven action-packed days, these women get a lens into the fields of business through sample classes, visits to companies like 3M, tackling a real-world business challenge, and networking dinners,” explains Fuhrman. “They can explore how their passions and talents translate to business fields like management information systems, supply chain and operations, and finance. It’s also a place to start the conversation about gender disparity in leadership roles.”  

3M has a major presence during the week’s activities. In 2016, Val Young (VP of Supply Chain Operations) was the keynote speaker during the opening banquet. 3M also hosts a site visit at its headquarters, featuring a tour and overview of 3M and a roundtable with employees from various departments.

Applications increasing

Fuhrman sees increased recruiting momentum from the program. “As we enter our third year, we are noticing a spike in the number of applications to the program, and anticipate that our matriculating class from Women Mean Business may double from six new freshman in 2016 to potentially over 12 in fall 2017,” she says. “Women Mean Business gives young women a chance to begin their college career with excitement, new interests, and confidence.”

What past Women Mean Business participants said:

-“This week has been a really great hodgepodge of different experiences of businesses and careers. I think that exposure has really helped me in knowing what type of company or career that I want in the future.”  

-“I thought business was a male-dominated field. This week I’ve met so many women who have been successful, and it’s inspirational.”

-“It feels so nice to make those connections and create that sense of community with other females. It's fun to be around empowering women and learn how to empower other women in the business world.”

-“I feel like this week has actually been life changing because now I know that this is for me. I am set; I am ready to work hard.”


Photos courtesy of Alyssa Rhoads and Carlson School of Management

.subhead { text-transform: none; font-family: neutra-2-text, sans-serif; font-weight: 500; font-style: normal; }