Dr. Kyla L. Tennin (Chair of the Board, President, & Global CEO at Lady Mirage Global, Inc.) & Shelli Brunswick (Chief Operating Officer at Space Foundation)

Although media outlets like BBC, CNBC, and Business Standard reported women lost $800B in income collectively around the globe due to involuntarily terminations from the workplace because of the pandemic, the terminations can be seen as positive. After we completed a global survey project for the World Business Angels Investment Forum Global Women Leaders Committee, chaired by Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, former 1st female president of Croatia, we found women are pursuing entrepreneurship because of the need for income, but also due to desire to create their own projects or start a company, needing flexibility, a necessity to control career outlook, and a host of other reasons. Yet, we also noticed, while extensively researching previous scholars, practitioners, and leaders’ work on the topic, girls are pursuing entrepreneurship.

Further, WEF (2022a) reported difficulties in labor forces and economies, and systematic shocks during crises in economies are causing women to go into entrepreneurship. Growing the number of female founders by 45% (WEF, 2022a). The same can be said about girls’ interests in STEM. For example, the G20 Women’s Forum for the Economy & Society (WFES) (2021) advised the digital era includes automation. Like the automation of jobs, not necessarily digital transformation regarding products and services to keep up with the times. For instance, considering the pandemic. Instead, more and more jobs are being automated. Also, the WFES (2021) demonstrated that issues like the COVID-19 pandemic, financial inclusion for women, females being included in things as decision-makers, needing to generate revenue, and gender inequality towards women have occurred for decades. So, solutions alternative to the ones exercised in times past need to be strategized (WFES, 2021).  

The WFES (2021) stated the G20 Barometer 2021 report concluded reskilling programs, hence for education, need to be implemented. Consisting of upskilling, reskilling, and cross-skilling for professions in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics STEM fields (WFES, 2021). Especially for women at risk of losing employment in a nation due to non-automated jobs becoming automated (WFES, 2021). This is critical information because the next generations will need employment and STEM fields are necessary to develop basic needs. For instance, food, beverages, personal care products (e.g. hair care), electric vehicles, solar panels, and more. To illustrate, solar panels are needed for light, in homes and workplaces, but also to offset utility costs. 

Moreover, Dell Technologies (2017) stated 85% of 2030 STEM careers do not exist yet, but can be developed by STEM professionals since they are innovative. Plus, entrepreneurship is essential for recovery in times of crises, economic growth, and to launch innovative ideas (WFES, 2021). For the G20 Barometer 2021 report, 88% of participants surveyed, agreed with G20 countries about women and girls need to be invested in STEM fields (WFES, 2021). However, 180 million jobs (11%) in the STEM workforce are currently being automated and are at risk of losing employment (Brussevich et al., 2018). Many major businesses already stated they plan to greatly decrease their workforce because of automation (WFES, 2021). This provides an opportunity for entrepreneurship in STEM areas, even for women or girls-owned ventures.

Resilience Education Strategic Partnerships: Challenges and Opportunities 

Bushra and Wajiha (2015) and Noreen and Khalid (2012) contended some kind of formal education improves women’s chances of securing employment. The same can be true for women and girls and for entrepreneurs. Gupta (2021) advised non-governmental organizations (NGOs) should play an important role in training and empowering women. Stromquist (2015) stated the same. Training and empowerment can also be for girls, in STEM fields. Whether to gain employment as a youth, later in life as a young adult or adult or to pursue entrepreneurial ideations. Entrepreneurship is also ideal to consider because Jain-Chandra et al. (2017) and Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI) (2021) reported women, and girls once they become women, have problems with gaining bank accounts, property, and credit. Aspects in various nations individuals can gain by having a business or getting an education, to know how to manage property, accounts, and/or credit.

Too, NGOs can strategically develop programs or engage in partnerships to educate girls, for example, in STEM fields, which can later be used for entrepreneurship. For example, the new United States of America White House National Space Council, Moon Colony Kit initiative does such. A STEM governmental program Shelli Brunswick, COO of Space Foundation, participates in, with principal sponsorship by AstroSapiens Foundation, via providing STEM education (Space Foundation, 2022). STEM education to educators and students in grades 4-8, in 50 different STEM career areas, including with Spanish translation (Space Foundation, 2022). The program was also created to bring awareness to a wide variety of STEM/space careers, including job seekers for the workplace (The White House, 2022). Supporting space-related STEM education and workforce (The White House, 2022).

Other STEM career development initiatives and kits within the United States of America White House National Space Council program are the (1) 10,000 Learning Lunchbox STEM Kits: Center for Science and Industry, (2) Expansion of Million Girls Moonshot Flight Crew Program, (3) Moon Colony Kit Project and Educator Professional Development, (4) Aerospace and Rocketry Curriculum, (5) Aerospace Systems Conference and Rocket Challenge, and (6) Data Science for Space and Sustainability Event (The White House, 2022).  The Moon Colony Kit, as an example, contains The Junior Space Entrepreneur Program (JSEP) and Cadet Space Explorer Program (CSEP) (Space Foundation Discovery Center, 2022). Youth who enter the program are prepared to obtain STEAM positions in aerospace organizations, while also becoming educated in business (Space Foundation Discovery Center, 2022). In the program, youth embark on a complete mission to Mars (Space Foundation Discovery Center, 2022). Conclusively, the STEM programs offered to provide 20,000 students at U.S. Title 1 schools and underrepresented neighborhoods to explore 50 distinct STEAM careers (Space Foundation, 2022). Providing them the opportunity to consider and explore a variety of space careers (Space Foundation, 2022), including entrepreneurship.

About: Dr. Kyla L. Tennin, Chair of the Board, President, & Global CEO at Lady Mirage Global, Inc. (parent holding corporation) 

Dr. Tennin is an industry practitioner and DM in Management and Organizational Leadership. She focuses on Change Management and mixed methods empirical research for continuous improvement, business transformation, and recovery during and after internal/external crises in nations, institutions, and individuals’ lives. She is a leader in various roles at investment forums where she works with Presidents of Nations, Heads of Banks, Prime Ministers, High Commissioners, Chambers of Commerce, and other business leaders to strategize and make business decisions to help businesses start up, advance, and/or scale to improve economic development, promote social justice, and create jobs in various nations. Dr. Tennin has 23 years of experience in higher education and 17 years owning her own global conglomerate corporation, which she built while homeless, to recover self-sufficiency, recover financially, and create jobs for people.

She was awarded over 30 corporate awards, mentored entrepreneurs for 22 years with global organizations and world-renowned corporations and banks as sponsors, and currently owns a business academy, women’s entrepreneurship academy, and women’s entrepreneurship boot camp program where entrepreneurship, resilience, finance, pricing and tax strategy, research methodology and data analysis for consultants, digital transformation, property ownership, and other courses are taught. Her areas of expertise and research interests are strategy, entrepreneurship, cosmeceuticals, economic development, emerging markets, multinationals, corporate governance, well-being/burnout, and women’s empowerment.

About: Shelli Brunswick, Chief Operating Officer at Space Foundation 

Shelli Brunswick, COO of Space Foundation, brings a broad perspective and deep vision of the global space ecosystem — from a distinguished career as a space acquisition and program management leader and congressional liaison for the U.S. Air Force to her current role overseeing Space Foundation’s three primary divisions: Center for Innovation and Education, Symposium 365, and Global Alliance. Advocating for space technology innovation, entrepreneurship, diversity, and inclusion, Shelli collaborates with organizations around the world to connect commercial, government, and educational sectors. She has delivered more than 100 speeches and presentations in 2022 alone on navigating career success and workforce development to audiences in Africa, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and North and South America. Brunswick was named the 2022 Chief in Tech Award by WomenTech Network, the World Women Organization’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the Top 100 Leaders Award, The Most Influential Women in Leadership 2022 by March 8 Magazine, and a Top Aviation and Aerospace Professional to Follow on LinkedIn in 2022.


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