According to the U.S. Department of Labor, more than 100 professions are still considered “non-traditional” fields for women, as they have less than 25 percent female representation. In an effort to change statistics like these, the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Denver Scholarship Foundation, recently awarded scholarships to five young women pursuing careers in construction, international business, bioengineering, civil engineering, and criminal justice.
Community College of Denver’s (CCD) Sierra Morales was awarded a scholarship for her academic achievement and leadership in criminal justice. Sierra is just completing her second semester at CCD and hopes to become a federal agent while giving back to the community.
“My career path was inspired by my auntie who graduated from a four-year university and is now a probation officer,” said Morales. “My hope is to create more diversity in professional fields and this scholarship is motivating me to do better and accomplish many things in my college career; so I’m really excited about it.”
The scholarships were presented at the Chamber’s annual Girls Rising event in May, which recognizes and honors women who have excelled or are seeking careers in male-dominated fields. This event provides an opportunity for Colorado’s business leaders to discuss developing a pipeline of female leaders, hear from other women who have found success, and celebrate the five young scholarship winners as they continue on a road less traveled.
“These young women are trailblazers and visionaries taking action for a better tomorrow,” said Kristen Blessman, the president and CEO of the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce. “As a business community, we must show young women what leadership looks like in these fields because if they can see themselves there, they can find their way there.”
The scholarship winners were nominated by the Denver Scholarship Foundation, a local nonprofit that supports Denver Public Schools’ students on their journeys to and through college. The young women selected for the scholarship were nominated because of their value to the community, academic achievement and exceptional student leadership on campus.
The scholarship dollars come from the Denver Scholarship Foundation and contributions from local community members. The Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce will continue to offer scholarships and mentorship to advance women in business so young women understand they can reach their goals — in any industry.