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  • Writer's pictureDonna Milgram

Why Women Take Longer to Enroll in STEM Classes

Warning: This will tug at your heartstrings

Kelly Monroe does preventative and predictive maintenance in Robotics at Amazon. She is a mother of two with a disabled child, so she waited until they were grown to pursue a career in robotics later in life. Now, she is an apprentice - working at Amazon while attending school.




Two weeks ago, a school I have been working with held a Women in Robotics Meet & Greet, which was a successful event! An email I wrote for participants as a follow-up featured the video you see above of a mother with a disabled child who started her career in the field when her kids were nearly grown.


It struck a chord with one of the participants in the Meet & Greet, who left an emotional message for the Recruitment Counselor who had presented at the Meet & Greet, letting participants know he was available to help walk them through the enrollment process. I don’t know her name, but we will call her Sally.



Sally said she is in a very similar situation. It’s hard for her to find someone to watch her son. She doesn’t know where to start or how to begin. She gets emotional because she wants to better herself, give her kids the things they need to succeed in life and set an example that you can’t give up on your dreams. Sally’s thankful for the Meet & Greet because she heard from women in the field and their journeys and realized she could do it too.  


Sally has always wanted to get her degree, and she loves robotics and automation. She plays a lot of games with her son, and they do Legos, robots, and coding, as she wants to teach him about STEM.


Sally wants to get started in this program for the Fall, but she doesn’t know where to start because it’s been so long since she’s been in school, since she put herself on hold for her kids. So she’s calling to ask for guidance and support, and it’s a little scary for her.



Sally is already doing robotics at home with her kids. Can you imagine the impact it will have on her and her family’s lives when she converts her hobby into a career pathway? Going back to school midlife when you have kids takes an act of courage. A woman such as Sally may not enroll on the spot at the event—it may take some encouragement for her to move past her fears and take the next step.  


Please hold the hands of prospective female students like Sally so they can take the next step for their future.  They need you.


I am there to hold your hand so you can succeed in recruiting more women to your programs. Please sign up for a time to talk with me so I can help you recruit more women into your STEM programs this coming year rather than just hoping it will happen.



Maureen Devlin Clancy Makerspace

"The greatest benefit was seeing almost immediate results. We saw overall growth in all four targeted programs "


~ Pam Gibson, Dean of Engineering & Applied Technology. Fayetteville Technical CC

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