Concur, as a successful software company, knows the value of investing into science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. Not only because the foundation of our company is built on STEM education, but also because the future of our company and its ability to remain best-in-class , continuing to innovate and push limits, depends on future generations and their competency in STEM education.
In a world where success is driven not only by what you know, but by what you can do with what you know, it’s more important than ever for our youth to be equipped with the knowledge and skills to solve tough problems, gather and evaluate evidence, and make sense of information.
As of 2014 only 16% of high school students are proficient in math and wish to pursue a STEM degree. According to the US Department of Commerce, STEM occupations are growing at 17%. Although women fill close to half of all jobs in the U.S. economy, they hold less than 25% of STEM jobs, which has been a consistent number for the last decade. 
That is why Concur is investing into organizations that are dedicated to retaining women in the technology workforce and increasing the number of young women pursing technology-based careers. Our corporate social responsibility efforts are focused on providing STEM education to underprivileged youth and young women.
Given this priority, Concur is honored to be a national sponsor of ChickTech. ChickTech is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing STEM education to young women around the United States. From programming arduinos—an open-source electronics platform—to getting advice on technical interviewing, ChickTech’s programs build community and empower participants to see themselves as technologists and leaders.
ChickTech’s signature program is called ChickTech: High School, which supplements traditional education and provides a supportive community for young women to learn how to create technology. Within this program, additional emphasis is placed on recruiting at-risk and low-income participants. By increasing their self-confidence and interest in technology, ChickTech: High School has been able to increase the number of girls who aspire to technology careers. This is done through local conferences, hands-on workshops and mentoring support.
Concur believes in ChickTech’s inclusive and innovative recruiting, its fun and interactive workshops that are aimed at young women who otherwise would not have these opportunities. Concur is also thrilled about ChickTech’s plan of doubling the number of active chapters in 2016 and its effort to provide programs aimed at connecting inclusive and welcoming companies with diverse candidates.
And the numbers speak for themselves:
- 55% of participants had no experience creating tech projects before choosing ChickTech
- participants who felt “confident” or “very confident” in their technology skills increased from 27% to 74%
- participants who felt “informed” or “well informed” about technology increased from 46% to 91%
- At ChickTech: High School, ChickTech increased the number of high school participants who were “interested” or “very interested” in a tech career from 47% to 89%... in only one weekend.
In our commitment to STEM education, diversity in technology and our investment in ChickTech, we are thrilled to host our first ChickTech workshop on March 26, 2016!
- Concur employee and graphic designer Lily Lei led a workshop on a web design curriculum she put together at a Seattle ChickTech workshop in January. Photo credit: Wojtek Rajski.
Header image photo credit: Wojtek Rajski.
 Beede, Julian, Langdon, McKittrick, Khan and Doms. (2011, August). Retrieved from http://www.esa.doc.gov/sites/default/files/womeninstemagaptoinnovation8311.pdf