Creating gender equity and inclusion in the workforce begins by establishing a diverse talent pipeline, providing universal access to resources and building community partnerships that make a difference for the next generation. Those efforts have the power to change a girl's life trajectory while driving innovation, opportunity and success for the companies that champion them.
That's why Fiserv recently expanded its partnership with Girl Scouts of the USA. Our partnership includes sponsoring the new Cookie Business badges, which help girls learn about setting goals, making in-person and online sales, using market research, creating business plans, and implementing marketing campaigns. With access to digital technology, girls can take their business skills to the next level.
Girl Scouts shares our commitment to youth development, especially in the areas of financial literacy, STEM and entrepreneurship. Using our unique space and place, we're working with Girl Scouts to further its mission of building girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place.
It starts with bringing everyone to the table.
Organizations are better creators and innovators when every voice is heard and everyone has an equitable opportunity to join, belong, contribute and succeed.
Organizations are better creators and innovators when every voice is heard and everyone has an equitable opportunity to join, belong, contribute and succeed. Diverse thoughts and views lead to richer experiences, favorable business outcomes and a better future.
In a competitive labor market, companies look to be an employer of choice to gain and retain top talent. Prospective employees often narrow their search by considering a company's investments in furthering a culture of diversity and representation. They look at policies that support women such as paid parental leave and pay equity, and whether the company has equitable representation on boards and in senior leadership. In the same way, consumers and other companies often choose to do business with organizations that share their values and prioritize inclusion.
Girl Scouts reflects that diversity with troops in every location, including rural, urban, suburban and underserved communities. Building a talent pipeline for an inclusive workforce means reaching the next generation of women where they are. And many are Girl Scouts.
We encourage the mentoring principle of each one, teach one. When girls see themselves reflected in a career, they begin to believe they can achieve it, too. That's why we help match girls with women business leaders, entrepreneurs and experts in fintech, cybersecurity and other subjects. It's all about representation.
We know, for example, that girls tend to lose interest in science, technology, engineering and math as they age. Perceived gender barriers are still high for girls and may help explain why STEM fields aren't their top career choices. But when women in those fields mentor girls in STEM-related programs and careers, that dynamic often changes.
In the same way, building financial literacy, diversity and equity into our partnerships, policies and systems helps us create a stronger, more sustainable future together. Gaining a better understanding of how finances work, from checking accounts to 401(k) investments, is an important part of setting girls on a path to success. Research has shown that children who have savings accounts are six times more likely to go to college and four times more likely to own stocks as young adults. Yet, many young people lack the financial readiness to save, spend and invest wisely.
Girl Scouts learn many of those financial and business fundamentals through earning badges and by being a part of the Girl Scout Cookie Program. For many girls, selling cookies is their first taste of being an entrepreneur. The experience helps them prepare for job interviews, public speaking, management and business ownership.
It's not just about cookies.
Being a Girl Scout taught me to become comfortable with being uncomfortable. I learned how to manage inventory, talk to people I didn't know and sell a product. I also learned what achievement and success feels like.
As a woman leader in a Fortune 500 company, I want to do the same for the girls who follow. I want them to see themselves represented in corporate America, in the highest levels of government and the military, and in their communities. To reach that goal, I believe every person, every organization has the responsibility to invest time, treasure and talent to pave the way for the next generation.