U.S. Soccer will now be a partner of IF/THEN to help support women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). IF/THEN is an initiative of Lydia Hill Philanthropies, centered around the mantra of “if we support a woman in STEM, then she can change the world.”
This new partnership showcases the importance of STEM and how it is relevant to many aspects of life — from entertainment to sports and business. U.S. Soccer plans to work with IF/THEN to hire more women for full-time positions as well as highlight positive female professional role models. These positions will encompass everything from sports medicine, sports science, and data and performance analysis and give U.S. Soccer the ability to develop exceptional players within the program.
“Our Women’s National Team is one of the most successful teams in the history of sports,” said U.S. Soccer CEO/Secretary General Dan Flynn. “That success would not be possible without the medical experts and sports scientists that support our athletes. We are proud to collaborate with IF/THEN and Lyda Hill Philanthropies to raise the profile of the women in STEM at U.S. Soccer to show youth that even if you do not take the field in the World Cup, by pursuing STEM you can still be part of our team.”
This partnership comes at an opportune time when more young girls are realizing their potential within the STEM fields. This coalition will help them realize there are more aspects to STEM than what they may have thought. They can make a difference in these industries and directly impact the sports realm.
“We need more women scientists to put their stories out there so girls can see what they can be when they grow up,” said Nicole Small, president of Lydia Hill Philanthropies and co-founder of IF/THEN.
While the gender gap in STEM is still large, partnerships like the one between U.S. Soccer and IF/THEN are helping to expose girls to the STEM role models they need and shifting the perspective of what it means to work in STEM. As more and more initiatives like these continue to roll out, the next generation of female leaders will begin to realize they aren’t just wanted within the STEM realm, they are needed and necessary.