STEM refers to science, technology, engineering and mathematics-related industries and fields, which experts say are fields in which women still experience inequality.
“We’re really hoping, with this new funding and all of these workshops and classes available, that we will be able to limit the barriers for women interested in entering these industries,” vice-president of entrepreneurship for Economic Development Lethbridge Renae Barlow said.
“Often what they are missing is support. We want to disrupt that and make sure women are feeling supported. We want to provide them with the networks and resources they may not have access to.”
The program is looking to increase the number of women running businesses and leading the charge in Alberta’s economy.
“Things like Blockchain and artificial intelligence are all going to be opportunities for the women of southern Alberta,” Barlow said.
“We’re really trying to get women in the program who are immigrants, who are Indigenous and who are from rural communities. It’s an important investment for female-run businesses here and for our economic growth.”
To accomplish this, the courses and workshops have been made accessible online and in community libraries on request.
The instructors are all industry professionals with decades of experience training coders, computer programmers and other STEM professionals.
Women in STEM in Lethbridge kicks off its first classes starting Sept. 17.