Technovation Girls recap: Advancing opportunities for women in STEM

As a leader in spine and orthopedic technology innovation, NuVasive partners with organizations that nurture education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to proactively promote diversity and inclusion within our culture and global communities we serve. Through these partnerships and outreach events, we hope to foster a passion for STEM across diverse groups, drive future innovation in the medical device industry and attract the brightest minds to NuVasive.

Throughout the months of May and June, NuVasive partnered with Technovation Girls, a non-profit that teaches girls to use technology to solve community problems. Technovation Girls is a global technology entrepreneurship competition where young women (ages 10 to 18) are tasked to solve real world problems by building a mobile application and pitching a business plan. Since 2010, more than 23,000 young people from 100+ countries have participated in Technovation Girls. With the help of volunteer mentors, they’ve produced mobile app startups that have helped address problems in local and global communities the world over (1).

“Programs like ‘Technovation Girls’ provide a great platform for young girls to develop an entrepreneurial mindset through the apps they build and present. Overall, a collective effort by employers, educational institutions and individuals would help create an environment that is truly welcoming for women,”

-Anuja Ravande, Sr. software engineer in Information Technology and Technovation Girls coordinator.

“Women make up almost 48% of the U.S workforce and yet there are only 28% of women in STEM fields and it is important that we reduce this gender gap. Today, our lives are shaped by technology and innovation and we need more diversity in these fields to ensure that the problems we study reflect the concerns of our ‘full’ population. Encouraging more women in STEM roles would also help close the wage gap and incentivize higher participation from the younger generation,” she said.

Over 60 NuVasive employees signed up to be virtual judges and provided feedback on the the girls’ applications and business plans. They reviewed online application prototypes and business models created by teams of girls from around the world and provided ratings around: ideation, technical, pitch, entrepreneurship, and overall impression of the application. The projects ranged from climate change to medical access for refugee camps, to COVID-19. They then provided additional feedback the teams could use to improve their submissions. After participating in Technovation Girls, students express a greater interest in technology and leadership after participating, and 58% of our alumni enroll in more computer science courses. (1)

All of the NuVasive individuals who contributed to this year’s Technovation Girls are a testament to our collective commitment to the sciences and the impact it has on our world. As there continues to be an evolution towards a knowledge economy, led by technological and scientific advancements, fostering these values in the work we do within the organization as well as a part of our global community is more important now than ever.

-Kyle Malone, VP Clinical, Medical & Regulatory Affairs and Technovation Girls Sponsor

“When I was in undergrad, I had the opportunity to work on an autonomous robot for a competition sponsored by NASA. I was incredibly grateful to have the support of the school and a team of students to work with. By the time I got to my senior level classes, I was often the only female in the room. I wouldn’t think about it except when people would ask me what it was like to be ‘an only.’ The best thing my professors and others who sponsored us did was to provide an opportunity to problem solve and work on challenges – to get a chance to build solutions that could make an impact. As I have continued in my career, the same things hold true. That is one of the reasons I am incredibly grateful to be able to partner with an organization like Technovation Girls – it provides a platform for people to problem-solve, create and make a difference – regardless of who they are and where they are in the world.”

-Aviva McPherron, Leader, Commercial IT and Technovation Girls coordinator

Through partnerships such as these, we aim to not only empower our internal Shareowners, but young women who are interested in pursuing careers in STEM with our company and industry. We aim to continue more of these partnerships in the future.


Read our blog featuring our female Shareowners and their reflections on the paths they took to arrive in their STEM careers at NuVasive here.







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