Longtime Obama Advisor and TIME’s Most Influential Discusses Women in STEM at N.C. A&T Speaker Series

By Tonya Dixon / 11/17/2017

Greensboro, N.C. (Nov. 17, 2017) - Longest-serving senior advisor to former President Barack Obama and women and girls champion, Valerie Jarrett, spoke to a room full of eager North Carolina A&T young women, for the fall Chancellor’s Speaker Series, Nov. 16, 2017. 

Jarrett had an intimate conversation with approximately 250 female students, discussing gender equity, women’s issues and the vital leadership roles they play in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). 

"You need not just mentors, but you need advocates that will go to bat for you even when you're not even in the room,” said Jarrett. 

The conversation covered several topics, including action items and making an immediate and lasting impact. 

“The ‘level playing field’ doesn’t exist,” said Jarrett. “So, what can we do to level it?” 

Joining Jarrett, was moderator and leader in STEM, Erica Bakers, a senior engineer at Slack Technologies and an advocate for diversity and inclusion in technology and expanding access to tech education. 

As the No.1 producer of engineering degrees on the undergraduate level awarded to African Americans, N.C. A&T is deeply invested in providing the foundational and educational structure necessary to ensure all individuals are substantially prepared for advanced tech fields, including women. This edition of the speaker series provided another level of addressing comprehensive gender, racial and educational equality. 

The Chancellor’s Speaker Series will continue to feature guest lecturers of national and global recognition who reflect preeminence in their respective fields and add substantive value to current dialogue.