Today, Deloitte and The Ella Project, creator of Ella the Engineer, announced the launch of a new collaborative comic book series with the goal of exposing girls to STEM in a fun and unique way. The graphic novel series features comic book character Ella solving various problems using her STEM skillset under the guidance of various Deloitte leaders, including Deloitte Chair and Consulting CEO Janet Foutty and Chief Innovation Officer Nishita Henry.
Geared toward inspiring educational and student groups around the country, Ella the Engineer was created to showcase a young, female role model with a passion for science, technology, engineering, math, and entrepreneurship with whom many students can identify. The series champions problem-solving skills, tech-savviness, collaboration, and various emerging technologies to get to the bottom of hijinks and challenges facing the main characters. In the inaugural issue with Deloitte, Janet Foutty encourages Ella to use analytics to piece together the whereabouts of her stolen class pet. Deloitte’s involvement in this creative project underscores its long-standing commitment to diversity, inclusion and STEM education.
“Deloitte is committed to creating opportunities for women and underrepresented minorities to enter into productive careers in STEM and STEM adjacent fields – and it starts with early education,” said Janet Foutty, chair and CEO, Deloitte Consulting LLP. “We are thrilled to team with The Ella Project to advance the possibilities for young women’s futures, showing how adventurous and meaningful a career in STEM can be – and have a little fun along the way.”
Despite ongoing efforts to gain parity, women currently only represent 28% of STEM jobs in the U.S. The need for STEM workers will permeate every industry, as noted by a recent study by the National Association of Manufacturing and Deloitte. The study revealed a need for 3.5 million STEM jobs by 2025, with more than 2 million going unfilled due to the lack of highly-skilled candidates to meet current demand.
Deloitte’s collaboration with The Ella Project is the latest in its efforts to create multiple pathways to STEM and STEM adjacent skills development and career opportunities to help build an inclusive and tech-savvy workforce. Examples include Deloitte’s work with Salesforce to develop Pathfinder, a first-of-its-kind program that works with community colleges, veterans, and other professions looking to re-enter to workforce to develop in demand technical and business skills. In addition, The Deloitte Foundation works with Base 11 in creating a nationally scalable STEM career accelerator model for high school students through experiential learning curriculum.
“We are thrilled to have the support of Deloitte for The Ella Project,” said Ella founder Anthony Onesto. “This collaboration allows us the opportunity to highlight real life female role models in STEM, as their stories are woven into edutainment we know to be invaluable to our future leaders. Ella, our tech savvy hero, is someone who young kids, girls and boys alike, can relate to and encourages the importance of critical-thinking throughout her exciting adventures.”
“The goal of our collaboration with The Ella Project is to give young girls a role model to inspire them to learn more about STEM,” said Nishita Henry, chief innovation officer, Deloitte Consulting LLP. “These adventures with Ella show that developing STEM skills is a gateway to a great career and empowers girls to have a deeper understanding of solving problems in our day-to-day world.”
The series will be four comic books, plus a graphic novel. Other Deloitte leaders to be featured include Catherine Bannister, managing director, Deloitte Consulting LLP and chief talent officer, technology; and Kelly Herod, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP.
The graphic novel series will be circulated to schools and educational groups around the country in an effort to inspire new generations of tech talent. You can read about Ella’s adventures with Deloitte’s leaders here.
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About The Ella Project
The Ella Project was created to ensure that girls passionate about science, technology, math, engineering, computers, entrepreneurship, and other similar interests have a hero with whom they can identify. In addition to publications like Ella The Engineer, The Ella Project aims to bring together remarkable women in one place, share their inspiration, provide a glimpse into how they’ve achieved success, and offer advice to future leaders. You can learn more about The Ella Project at www.theellaproject.com.
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