Philanthropy

INTRODUCING AFTER-SCHOOL ALL-STARS & TEZA TECHNOLOGIES’ STEM RESOURCE GUIDE

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Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills are in high demand. STEM jobs are growing at 1.7 times the rate of non-STEM jobs, but only 16 percent of high school seniors reported interest in pursuing STEM careers. What’s more, there are serious racial and gender gaps when it comes to STEM education (a recent report from Google and Gallup found that black students are less likely to have access to computer science in the classroom).

That’s why we’re proud to present our new STEM resource guide. Developed in partnership with After-School All-Stars (ASAS), this guide provides information about the state of STEM education, ideas for ways to engage students in STEM activities at home, and information about the work we’re doing in partnership with ASAS to inspire the next generation of STEM superstars. Through this resource guide and other initiatives, the entire team at Teza Technologies is committed to highlighting the importance of STEM education.

ASAS STEM CAMPUS EVENT LETS OUR EMPLOYEES GIVE BACK

This is a guest post by two Teza employees, Kelly and Lou, about their recent volunteer experience at After-School All-Stars STEM CampUs event, sponsored by Teza Technologies. STEM CampUs is a five-day immersion program that prepares at-risk eight graders for high school and encourages them to explore careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Teza Technologies and Misha Malyshev are proud to support events like STEM CampUs that provide educational opportunities for students.

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Lou: Focused on encouraging STEM pursuits

As a father of two children, it was great to be able to volunteer with a program focused on encouraging students to pursue an education and career in STEM. Both professionally and personally, this is a passion of mine. For example, my 11-year-old son is especially interested in video games, so I’ve been working to translate his love of video games into a broader understanding of STEM.

At STEM CampUs I had the opportunity to judge the STEM app competition. I was impressed by how much thought the students had put into their presentations. When we asked them questions it was clear they’d considered the different kinds of feedback they might receive from the judges and the audience. The thoroughness of their presentations and their overall preparedness was truly remarkable!

After the competition, Kelly and I were able to sit down with some of the students for dinner and one-on-one conversations. I was happy to answer their questions about pursuing a career in STEM and to share my experience majoring in computer science and how I came to work at Teza.

Overall I had a great time getting to know the students and learning more about their individual interests and goals. I’m looking forward to participating in more events like this in the future!

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Kelly: Learning about students’ passion for STEM

While Lou was judging the STEM app competition, I enjoyed viewing the presentations as a member of the audience. Like Lou, I was very impressed with how much work the students had put into their creations!

For me, the best part of the event was talking with the kids during dinner. For example, I had a great conversation with a young girl who was hoping to attend Temple University in the future. She told me about how much she loves Philadelphia, her family and siblings, and how much she had enjoyed her time at STEM CampUs. I was blown away by her maturity – she was extremely goal-oriented and it was great to hear about her plans for the future and how ASAS was helping her along her path.

Overall, I was highly impressed with the event, and I’m looking forward to more ways that we can support ASAS in the future, including through ASAS’s Climb 4 Kids event in October!

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A Look at Why Women in STEM are Switching Careers

The science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields have historically been dominated by men. Although there are increased numbers of women working in STEM, there continues to be a lack of female representation. It was reported earlier this year that women comprise of just 28 percent of employed science and engineering professionals.

Why Women Leave STEM

For the women that go on to pursue careers in STEM, more than half leave them within a decade, which is close to twice the frequency of men in those fields. There have been many different reasons that have been introduced in regards to this occurrence, one being a difference in values between men and women. Whereas men focus more on short-term items such as cost reduction, hierarchy, and resource constraints, women value accountability, balance, continuous improvement, coaching/mentoring and empowerment. Although men also find bureaucracy and hierarchy to impede their achievement, they are more likely to endure the dissatisfaction and continue working. Women, on the other hand, tend to leave for another career when they encounter unnecessary obstacles in their work.

Another reason associated with women leaving STEM jobs is sexual harassment. This is more prevalent in Silicon Valley, where 60% of women have reported being the target of unwanted sexual advances from a superior and 90% have witnessed sexist behavior at company offsites and/or industry conferences. More statistics from the report can be found here.

Additionally, there is the perception that women do not have the traits needed to succeed in science. In a study done by Wellesley College, women were viewed as having communal characteristics such as caring and unselfish, whereas men were associated with agentic characteristics including competitiveness and courageousness. The study revealed that people tend to associate scientists with agentic characteristics and that women appear to be incompatible with science. These cultural stereotypes are creating barriers for the women of today and future generations of women that aspire to be engineers or scientists.

Shaping the Future of Girls in STEM

In recent years, there has been a push for not only increased STEM programs in schools, but also programs tailored to girls to peak their interest and open their eyes to new opportunities. Misha Malyshev and employees from his company, Teza Technologies, support many organizations including buildOn, Adler Planetarium, After-School All-Stars and After School Matters that provide programs that inspire young children to dream of being future engineers or coders. Such programs include Girls Do Hack, Hack Day, Noble STEM Expo, Hour of Code, STEM CampUs, and Junior Research Scientists. Throughout the programs, girls can gain confidence by supporting each other, build a network of peers and find mentors/role models. It’s through these and similar programs where they hopefully begin to break through barriers – where their thoughts are heard, their actions are admired and they are no longer looked upon as inferior.

Young Achievers of Tomorrow Month

If Teza Technologies employees could connect a monthly observance to the company’s philanthropic mission, it would most closely resemble Young Achievers of Tomorrow Month. This observance is being highlighted throughout the month of May.

Teza Technologies employees and CEO Misha Malyshev are involved in organizations such as After-School All-Stars, buildOn, After School Matters and the Adler Planetarium. Employees volunteer their time as mentors, partnering with at-risk youth to establish positive relationships and share their knowledge of science, technology, engineering and math. Misha serves on buildOn’s global leadership council and After School Matters’ advisory board.

These organizations focus on providing students with additional educational opportunities inside and outside of the classroom, typically catering to children living in urban areas. Past programs Teza Technologies employees have volunteered in include Girls Do Hack, Junior Research Scientists, CampUS and Civic Hack Day. For some students, their first introduction to STEM programs is through involvement with these organizations. Having new opportunities opens their eyes to a future they may not have felt was possible or even worth considering beforehand.

The organizations are not only special for their programs, but for the people involved. Studies show that children, especially those living in low socioeconomic status, are highly influenced by their surroundings and tend to become more like the peers with whom they associate. This is why volunteers that spend time mentoring students can make such an impact in their life. Research shows that youth who are involved in mentorship programs are more likely to graduate high school, have healthier relationships and lifestyle choices, enroll in college, have a higher self-esteem and are less likely to turn to drugs and alcohol.

According to the National Mentoring Partnership, there was an estimated 4.5 million young people in a structured mentoring relationship in 2014 in comparison to the estimated 300,000 from the early 1990s. Through a variety of programs, organizations such as After-School All-Stars, buildOn, After School Matters and the Adler Planetarium are inspiring students to become young achievers of tomorrow with the help from role models.

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Teza Technologies Volunteers with Students from After-School All-Stars for Pi Day

ASASIn honor of Pi Day, Teza Technologies employees in the Chicago office teamed up with students from After-School All-Stars for fun activities. They spent the afternoon in small groups working on math exercises, measuring the value of Pi and discussing careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). 

Pi Day is celebrated around the world each year on March 14. Pi is the Greek letter “π” and is a mathematical constant used to represent the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. It was first ASAS 2introduced in 1706 by William Jones and later adopted in 1737 by Leonhard Euler, a Swiss mathematician.

Pi consists of more than one trillion digits and continues infinitely, however, only 39 digits past the decimal are needed to accurately calculate the spherical volume of our universe. Its abbreviated version is commonly known as 3.14159.

 

Teza Technologies Employees Partner with Kids from After-School All-Stars of New York for a Cooking Challenge

On Thursday, April 7th, Teza Technologies employees spent their afternoon volunteering with students from the After-School All-Stars of New York Chapter. They participated in a special cooking competition creating healthy meals and conducted a blind taste test to determine the best dish. The winner was a crepe filled with Nutella, blueberries and strawberries.

Teza Technologies employees teamed up with students from After-School All-Stars for a cooking competition

This is one of the many programs that Teza Technologies and After-School All-Stars (ASAS) have partnered on. For the past three years, the firm has funded After-School All-Stars CampUs Chicago, a college-preparation and STEM summer training program. Through CampUs, students have had the opportunity to visit Microsoft, Teza Technologies and the McCormick Foundation and experience STEM through hands-on projects, such as learning computer coding, building their own websites and developing apps and business plans.

Recognizing the desire for ASAS employees to expand their network and learn more tactical approaches to after-school success, Teza Technologies sponsored a TEDx-style retreat in Washington, D.C. in 2014. Twenty of the organization’s program directors were able to attend and learn about operations, stakeholder engagement, opportunities for collaboration and more.

In 2015, CEO and founder of Teza, Misha Malyshev, donated $300,000 to ASAS to support its STEM programs. Misha has also served as an ASAS National Board Member since 2014.

Math Awareness Month Looks to the Future – What Will Be the Future of Women in Mathematics?

Yogi Berra, paraphrasing Niels Bohr, said, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” In celebration of Math Awareness Month, Math Aware and the American Mathematical Society are bringing attention to the study of mathematics. This year’s theme is The Future of Prediction, which will focus on exploring how mathematics and statistics contribute to the future.

More than ever before, girls are studying science and math. However, the same pattern has not transitioned to the workforce. According to CNN, women in STEM fields saw little to no employment growth between 2000 and 2014. Additionally, the number of women in computing and mathematics occupations has not achieved the same growth as women in science and engineering occupations. From 1990 to 2013, the percentage of women in computer and mathematical occupations fell from 35 percent to 26 percent. This has led to an increased lack of female representation in mathematics, especially among minorities.

 

 

The percentage of women in science and engineering steadily increased from 1990 to 2013, however, the percentage of women in computer and mathematical occupations decreased 11 percent over the same period.

The percentage of women in science and engineering steadily increased from 1990 to 2013, however, the percentage of women in computer and mathematical occupations decreased 11 percent over the same period.

 

Research shows that girls show the same amount of interest in math and science as boys do up until middle school, at which point girls begin to lose interest. CNN reached out to women entrepreneurs and executives in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields to gain their perspectives on the lack of girls pursuing STEM careers. Most of the women stressed the importance of introducing girls to STEM early by connecting them with mentors in the field and providing technical workshops that will help them realize their potential in STEM careers.

This insight, however, is not only being recognized by women. With society’s pressure to close the gender gap in STEM occupations, an increased number of initiatives have been created to entice and harness interest in science and math among girls. These initiatives include a variety of programs, workshops and camps that connect young girls with women in the STEM field to engage in hands-on activities.

Throughout his many philanthropic endeavors, Misha Malyshev, CEO of Teza Technologies, has displayed his passion for creating educational opportunities for women and minorities in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. He understands the importance of introducing these subject areas to girls at a young age in the hopes that they will grow into leaders in their industry. Each year, Misha sponsors events such as Girls Do Hack and Civic Hack Day that teach girls about STEM careers. It is these programs and similar ones that open doors, create learning opportunities and motivate groups of young girls to discover their passion, leading to a strong foundation of women mathematicians, scientists and engineers in the future.

 

buildOn team members talk to local women as part of their female leadership development initative

Misha Malyshev Serves on Leadership Body of buildOn, an Organization Putting Gender Parity at the Center of Their Mission

Creating equal opportunity for women is a cause important to Misha Malyshev, both within his work as CEO of Teza Technologies and within his philanthropic involvement around the world. The month of March is a significant time to celebrate the cause and highlight the need for more action to end gender inequality. March is National Women’s History Month, dedicated to highlighting American women’s contributions to history and continued achievements in politics, business, the arts, culture and other areas of modern society. International Women’s Day also falls during the month, on March 8th. The holiday, observed by the United Nations and the global community, similarly celebrates women’s social, cultural and economic achievements and is a call to action for gender parity, women’s rights and an end to gender-based violence and inequality worldwide.

A major focus of Dr. Malyshev’s philanthropic involvement is working with organizations that create educational and economic opportunities for women and girls. In the U.S., Misha Malyshev is a regular sponsor for Girls Do Hack, an annual event that teaches girls about STEM careers. He also serves on the global leadership council for buildOn, a nonprofit organization that works to empower youth in urban areas in the U.S. and constructs schools in some of the poorest areas in the world. BuildOn also serves as an example of an organization that has prioritized gender parity within their core mission.

Nearly a quarter of young women in developing nations have not completed primary school, and two-thirds of illiterate adults in the world are women. Educating and empowering women and girls has become a strategic priority within all of buildOn’s work across the globe. For every school that is constructed, the buildOn team works with the support of community members and leaders. The local community also agrees to educate an equal number of girls and boys in each buildOn school. BuildOn provides Adult Literacy Classes to teach adults basic literacy and math skills, and more than three quarters of students in these classes are women. These classes help women achieve greater independence, enhance their earning potential and improve opportunities for their children and families.

A woman attends a buildOn Adult Literacy class in Nepal

BuildOn’s adult literacy classes teach basic math and literacy skills. Three-quarters of the classes’ students are women.

More recently, buildOn partnered with In A Perfect World to launch several new programs aimed specifically at elevating the status of women worldwide. With their #StrongerTogether campaign, they are working to break the cycle of poverty and further empower women in developing areas.  Part of this initiative is a newly-launched apprenticeship program in which women are given the opportunity to shadow workers during buildOn school-building projects and learn construction skills. Women who go through the program will also have the opportunity to be hired as a member of the buildOn skilled labor team. The organization is also helping develop female leaders to serve in their local communities as part of buildOn’s leadership team. So far, there are three female Country Directors who work as ambassadors between communities in their home country and buildOn’s global team.

Each year, the UN designates a campaign theme for International Women’s Day. This year’s theme is “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality”, calling for gender parity by 2030. Spreading awareness using the hashtag #PledgeForParity, the campaign calls for equal inclusion of men and women in leadership and equal opportunity in government, business, education and all areas of life. Organizations like buildOn, their leadership body and global team, are carrying this mission into their day to day work, both during and beyond International Women’s Day.

Mellody Hobson, Ann Lurie, Misha Malyshev: Chicago Business Leaders Using Their Net Worth to Support Charitable Causes

It’s not uncommon for businesses to give to philanthropic causes, either through corporate sponsorship, company-led fundraising or volunteer service. Many business leaders take this philanthropy beyond the corporate level and choose to donate their time and personal wealth to charitable organizations and causes. The Giving Pledge is a recent and highly visible example of philanthropy from business leaders announced by billionaires Bill Gates and Warren Buffett in 2010. The campaign challenges the world’s wealthiest individuals to pledge at least half of their net worth to charity. The Pledge has since grown and now includes more than 130 “pledgers”, including prominent billionaires like Richard Branson, Sara Blakely and Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan. In addition to those who have joined the Giving Pledge, many other business leaders and entrepreneurs are involved in philanthropic efforts, both domestically and abroad. Here’s a look at three Chicago business leaders who give their net worth to local, national and international causes:

Misha Malyshev

Misha Malyshev serves on the global leadership council for buildOn, an international nonprofit organization that builds schools in developing nations and organizes after school programs within the U.S. BuildOn’s mission is the break the cycle of poverty and illiteracy through service learning programs in the U.S. and in some of the world’s poorest nations. In 2014, Misha Malyshev and his wife, Oksana Malyshev, donated $150,000 to buildOn to help complete the building of five schools in Africa and Central America. The five schools, located in Malawi and Nicaragua, now provide learning centers for 2,100 children, at least half of which are female students. Misha Malyshev has also used his net worth to help educational organizations domestically. In addition to serving as CEO of Teza Technologies, Dr. Malyshev also serves on the leadership council for After School All Stars and Adler Planetarium in Chicago, and is a regular sponsor of educational programs for K-12 students.

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buildOn volunteer helps build a school in Nepal. Philanthropists like Dr. Misha Malyshev use their net worth to support organizations like buildOn in the U.S. and internationally.

Mellody Hobson

Mellody Hobson, President of Aerial Investments and Chair of the Board of Directors for Dreamworks Animation, is a champion of equal opportunity and education in Chicago. She recently pledged $25 million to After School Matters, a nonprofit organization that offers after school and summer programs for high school students in Chicago. The organization places teens in “apprenticeships” that allow them to explore careers in tech, science sports, the arts and more. In addition to serving on the organization’s board, Ms. Hobson serves on the leadership body of educational organizations in Chicago including the Chicago Public Education Fund and the Chicago Public Library.

Ann Lurie

Ann Lurie is President of the Ann & Robert Lurie Foundation and Founder of Africa Infectious Disease Village Clinics. As President of the Foundation, Ms. Lurie provides grants for educational programs, social services and art and health organizations. She began her philanthropic work when she founded and worked in an infectious disease clinic in Kenya. Over the years, she has invested more than $30 million in these health centers and is passionate about transforming healthcare in developing areas in Africa. In the U.S., Ms. Lurie serves on the National Institutes of Health board, and  is well known for her donation to Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago.

Girls Do Hack 2015 Recap

On November 14th, Teza Technologies sponsored the third annual Girls Do Hack event at Adler Planetarium. Girls Do Hack is a one day event that gives girls in grades 9-11 the opportunity to explore careers in science, technology, engineering and math.Throughout the day, students learned from women working in STEM fields, and participated in a series of hands-on workshops. The day’s activities included an egg drop, robot race and other workshops designed to give students first-hand experience with STEM.

Alanna Weisberg, a trading analyst at Teza Technologies, had the opportunity to participate as a mentor at Girls Do Hack 2015. Learn more about her experience at the event on Adler’s website, as well as her own journey to a career in STEM : http://www.adlerplanetarium.org/events/girls-do-hack-2016-11-19/

Girls Do Hack 2015, presented by Teza Technologies and Misha Malyshev