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Life at Deloitte
Who is MakerGirl?
How one Deloitte professional inspires girls through 3D printing technology
February 21, 2019
A MakerGirl is a girl who is on fire with the possibilities that lie in pursuing STEM education or a STEM career after completing one of our sessions.
- Julia Haried, co-founder, MakerGirl
“What bothers you?” A question we sometimes ask ourselves, launched MakerGirl, a fun and educational way to teach girls about science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), with the aim of getting them more involved in these careers.
When co-founders Julia Haried and Elizabeth Engele were posed with the question during a social entrepreneurship course at the Gies College of Business and the School of Social Work, it got them thinking. Julia, now a full-time professional at Deloitte in audit & assurance, thought about the lack of women in C-Suite positions. Their discussion quickly moved from identifying a problem to problem-solving. The pair knew there was something they could do to make an impact on young girls. That’s where the idea for MakerGirl was born.
Today MakerGirl is a mission-based STEM program that focuses on bringing awareness and education to girls around the country through 3D printing. The team of undergraduate and graduate students hosts 3D printing sessions for young girls, between the ages of seven to ten, to design and print their own creation. Since launching in 2014, MakerGirl has hosted over 55 sessions with more than 470 participants. The team also launched MakerGirl Mobile, a 3D printing lab on wheels to reach even more girls in underserved communities across the country.
We sat down with Julia to learn more about MakerGirl’s mission and vision for the future and to learn how Julia juggles a full-time position at Deloitte while keeping things going at MakerGirl.
What has been the most significant moment for MakerGirl?
When MakerGirl reached its first $30K fundraising goal through a Kickstarter campaign that first year, I knew it was significant. It became clear that others were interested in our mission. It was a delight!
Where do you see MakerGirl in the next five years?
MakerGirl, our Board of Directors, Lizzy (my co-founder), and I recently hired a CEO to carry our mission forward. We see MakerGirl reaching all girls in the United States (we have reached 3,000 so far), and who knows, eventually maybe the world.
What were some of the challenges you overcame to bring MakerGirl to life?
A challenge I overcame to bring MakerGirl to life was learning to be fearless in making big requests and asking directly for what MakerGirl needs to move forward. We have had some very extraordinary support that came from simply asking.
What are other ways for girls to get more involved in STEM fields?
Other ways for girls to get more involved in STEM fields start directly in their classrooms - even as young as first grade. Girls should be encouraged by their teachers and school administration to learn math, learn science, and become problem solvers. These experiences should be shared equally by girls and boys, and ideally, the encouragement and support can start in their homes, too. There are also many outstanding programs offered like Space Camp and Math Camps that teach girls about STEM fields.