“It’s an honor to see where we and how we have grown and to watch the team now take hold of this work and continue to make a difference in building a more sustainable STEM workforce.” – Edie Fraser
STEMconnector began with a simple idea. In the late fall of 2010, one of my former clients (I was working at Diversified Search at the time) and I began talking about the emerging STEM talent crisis and thinking about what we could do to tackle it. It’s not that STEM education had not been a national and global priority already – the term was coined by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 2001, and K-12 and higher education had been focusing on building their STEM curricula to better prepare students for an evolving workforce for over a decade. But despite over more than one trillion dollars invested by the private sector in STEM education, no one organization had aggregated a plan for building the pathway to STEM jobs or had developed an information hub across which to share best practices, products, and services, and thus, STEMconnector was born. Organizations understood that it was important to invest, but they weren’t exactly sure what they should invest in, when to do it, or how to ensure the most impact. STEMconnector created a platform of information-sharing and access that allowed a talented cross-sector network of leaders to collaborate and problem-solve across industries.
In the years since, STEMconnector has released a wide array of unique research including the foundational State of STEM report, a series of best practice case studies, white papers, tools and resources, and has held targeted events aimed at forging new ground together in STEM field interest, retention, and success. My overarching goal was to provide companies with the language, data, and the tools to more deeply embed their STEM efforts within their core business strategy. It has been thrilling to watch this business grow over the past years, and with continued collaboration and strategy, one day we will truly be able to say we have built a sustainable STEM-ready workforce.
Edie Fraser founded STEMconnector in 2011, in its earliest days she worked to build the one-stop communications and best practices initiative for STEM. Currently, she serves as a Senior Consultant of Diversified Search, where she previously directed the Washington and government business. She brings to her role over four decades of experience in supporting diversity at the most senior levels of corporations, organizations, and government in the U.S. and globally. Prior to joining Diversified Search, Fraser was Founder and CEO of Diversity Best Practices, a member service for diversity practitioners. There, she designed the CEO Diversity Leadership program, including the prestigious CEO Diversity Awards. She is also the founder of the Business Women’s Network, and Vice Chair of the World Affairs Council in D.C. For her role in these and several other enterprises, Fraser has won 45 major leadership awards, including the Mosaic Award from Diversity Woman, and an induction into the Enterprising Women’s Hall of Fame.