PROVIDENCE – Rhode Island School of Design has received a $100,000 grant from health care company Johnson & Johnson to increase the number of women studying Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, Manufacturing and Design (STEM2D).
Over the next few months, several academic leaders will develop a plan to implement the funding, according to Danielle Mancuso, a RISD spokeswoman.
RISD President Rosanne Somerson said in a statement that they are excited to build on their efforts to “champion the STEAM movement and continue to contribute to the creativity and diversity of the American workforce.”
STEM2D is similar to STEAM, a movement promoted by RISD that calls for adding art and design to STEM (STEM + A = STEAM) to develop an educational model intended to better prepare future generations to compete in the 21st century innovation economy.
“RISD was founded by a group of visionary women who foresaw the need for more innovative thinkers and makers in our workforce to help foster economic development – a need which has increased exponentially given the critical challenges facing our world in the 21st century,” Somerson said.
Johnson & Johnson said in a press release that it has entered into 10 partnerships around the world on the initiative. Besides RISD, Johnson & Johnson has agreements with the National Center for Women and Information Technology and California Institute of Technology, Harvey Mudd College, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Instituto Tecnológico de Aeronáutica (ITA - Brazil), Rutgers-New Brunswick Honors College, Spelman College, The University of Tokyo and The University of Limerick.
Johnson & Johnson stated that this initiative is a way to accelerate development of women leaders, and to support women throughout all stages of their life to improve global health and well-being. It also is a way to drive sustainable economic growth, it said.
“More than 80 percent of a family’s health care decisions are made by women, including moms, sisters and their friends, and our goal with this program is to increase the participation of women that are practicing medicine and developing the technology and products that are used to keep people healthy,” Sandi Peterson, group worldwide chairman, Johnson & Johnson, said in a statement. “Ensuring such talent is cultivated to enter the workplace is critical to maintaining successful businesses and meeting the changing needs of an increasingly complex marketplace.”