Erin Hogeboom: Dedication In Service
A Helping Hand
Erin Hogeboom’s professional and personal lives can best be surmised in one word: service. In just a short interview, she spoke only of how she’s reached out to strengthen her community through service. “My litmus test for a new job is whether it serves the community, and how it works to benefit the lives of others.”
She now finds herself at the National Girls Collaborative Project, a national non-profit aimed at connecting institutions who encourage young women to pursue careers in STEM fields. Her work comes at a time when Silicon Valley is perceived as a male-dominated hotspot, but Erin is fervent on dispelling those conceptions. “There are too many people across the world saying, oh, girls can’t do this and only boys can do that. That kind of talk has to change if we want to see progress. That’s why much of our focus is on awareness.”
There’s a lot of pernicious anti-women rhetoric in STEM fields, and the effects on young girls can be devastating and far-reaching. Erin admits, “even I myself internalized a lot of those detrimental messages concerning math and science. I never thought that was a possibility for me. So much of it is about confidence, so we’re aiming to give kids the confidence to pursue a STEM career.”
Erin says the other parts of their mission are focused towards promoting access and awareness: “we’re really trying to help all families inspire future generations. It’s hard to identify STEM programs that exist within a community. So our databases prioritize getting families in the know.”
Sparking a Conversation
Erin’s advice for young professionals stems from personal experience. For her, making it on your own centers around confidence and being open to new things: “say yes to opportunity, and don’t worry about what other people think of you. Most people are figuring it all out as they go.”
A big point of contention is how to go about spreading the message of empowerment, because often those who need to speak out the most don’t get that opportunity: “we don’t talk about women in STEM fields because they’re kind of hidden, and they don’t have a lot of mobility in their careers. I think it’s important to prioritize the visibility of these women. Sometimes my role is not saying anything, and stepping back and letting others speak who haven’t had the chance to speak.”
Erin’s excited to share any of FactSumo’s decks on science, because they have practical, real-world applications for those looking to get into a related field. But she particularly liked Energy Types. Check it out above!
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