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St. Louis Fed’s Louisville Branch to Host 'E-STEM Women at Work' Day for High School Students


LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Women in business and female students in high school from across the Louisville area will meet at the Louisville Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis for an “E-STEM Women at Work” day on Sept. 29, 2015.

While STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, E-STEM adds “Economics” to the mix of paths of study crucial for the careers in high demand in today’s economy. The Sept. 29 event will provide an opportunity for students to meet with businesswomen from a variety of fields in the Louisville area, said Nikki Jackson, regional executive of the St. Louis Fed’s Louisville Branch.

“It is critical that our kids understand the array of options available to them in pursuing or even contemplating a career in these disciplines,” Jackson said. “Having the opportunity to hear first-hand from practitioners in these areas can help bring a real-life aspect to this work.”

The day will begin at 9:15 a.m. ET. Alice Houston, president and CEO of Houston-Johnson Inc. and a member of the board of directors of the St. Louis Fed’s Louisville Branch, will give opening remarks, followed by Erin Yetter, senior economic education specialist with the Louisville Branch. Mary Suiter, assistant vice-president and head of the St. Louis Fed’s economic education team, will speak on the topic of women and leadership, followed by Jeannette Bennett, senior economic education specialist with the St. Louis Fed’s Memphis Branch, who will speak about women in the labor force.

“One of the topics we will discuss is how women’s participation in the labor force has changed over time, both in the number of women workers and in the type of work women do. We will make this topic come alive by looking at Mattel’s Career Barbie® from 1959 – 2010,” Yetter said. “It is a unique and very entertaining way for students to engage with economics.” Yetter will also give an overview about the basics of the Federal Reserve. 

To finish up the day, the students will participate in an afternoon panel discussion on “Women in E-STEM Careers,” which will feature the following guests who each represent one of the five E-STEM career paths:

  • Ana Maria Santacreu, economist, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis (Economics);
  • Sarah Fegenbush, chemist, Beam Suntory Inc. (Science);
  • Leigh Pittman, vice president and director of information technology, Brown-Forman (Technology);
  • Tracy Payne Squyres, general manager, Clothes Care Technology, GE Appliances (Engineering); and
  • Megan N. Ball, certified public accountant, Strothman and Co. (Math).