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Nevada program to pair mentors with young women interested in STEM

Young female Nevadans interested in STEM careers will likely get a nudge in the right direction with the launch of a nationwide initiative in the Silver State.

Under the direction of newly minted Lt. Gov. Kate Marshall and executive vice president of Public Policy and Corporate Responsibility at Caesars Entertainment Jan Jones Blackhurst, the nationwide Million Women Mentors movement is coming to Nevada.

“We will grow Nevada’s economy from the bottom up, with us and with our children,” Marshall said at a launch event Tuesday, where she met with Caesars employees who will serve as part of the steering committee.

Jobs in the science, technology, engineering and math fields are expected to grow in Nevada 26 percent by 2027, according to the organizers, and they estimate that the available computer science talent will grow dramatically if the gender gap is closed.

Both of Marshall’s daughters showed an acumen for science at a young age, she said, but needed support and encouragement in that direction. That’s likely the case for many other young women in Nevada and providing mentors will help bridge the gap, she said.

“This is what we need. Women are half the population, so we should participation at the same level,” she said.

Jones Blackhurst said she expected the initiative to launch within the first four months of the year, adding that while mentors would be appropriate for women of all ages, the younger the women are, the larger the possibilities.

“You can start as young as elementary,” she said. “We want to make sure women see themselves in any job.”

Women attending the luncheon inside Bobby Flay’s Mesa restaurant at Caesars come from all departments, including table games, IT, food and beverage and hospitality. But the organizers don’t want to limit the mentors to just the casino-hotel industry, adding they’re looking for partners all across Nevada’s industries.

Contact Meghin Delaney at 702-383-0281 or mdelaney@reviewjournal.com. Follow @MeghinDelaney on Twitter.

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