May 22, 2024

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Women’s History Month Spotlight: Dr. Kimberly Clay and Play Like A Girl

Women’s History Month Spotlight: Dr. Kimberly Clay and Play Like A Girl

Sports have the electric power to modify life. 

Dr. Kimberly Clay required to faucet into that ability when she founded Engage in Like A Female, a Nashville-dependent nonprofit whose mission is to “level the participating in subject by leveraging the expertise women gain from activity to propel young ladies into competitive, male-dominated careers in STEM+.” 

While the business commenced as a purely athletics-focused business targeting childhood obesity, it advanced into one thing larger many thanks to some eye-opening data.  

“We advanced to acknowledge that activity was a gateway to a lot of other opportunities for girls,” Dr. Clay mentioned. “In 2014 we made the shift to align our function with science, engineering, engineering and mathematics. There was a world analyze recognizing that of the women who ended up in the C-Suite, 94{6f90f2fe98827f97fd05e0011472e53c8890931f9d0d5714295052b72b9b5161} of them played a activity, and 56{6f90f2fe98827f97fd05e0011472e53c8890931f9d0d5714295052b72b9b5161} of them did so via university. That was truly an ‘a-ha moment’ for us in which we recognized that the prospective that we had to change a girl’s lifetime was substantially deeper and a lot more broad than we had deemed even in the past focusing on overall health.” 

Engage in Like A Girl’s programming incorporates partnerships in soccer, tennis and flag football, following faculty programs, job networking prospects, and summertime/university crack camps. Their most current camp came through spring crack in Mount Juliet.  

Dr. Clay claims the organization’s operate is all about breaking down the boundaries that persist in sports and STEM by reaching girls at the center college age as they start out to ponder vocation selections.  

“The elegance of our function in STEM and activity is that the two journey collectively and females are underrepresented in equally,” Dr. Clay claimed. “So, our mission as an corporation is to leverage the capabilities that ladies attained from activity to support propel them into male-dominated occupations. What we understand is that women are underpaid. They you should not have the longevity in their sports professions, as do adult males, for the reason that of the limitations close to gender, pay fairness in certain. The exact is the scenario in the place of work. It would choose us probably two generations to reach parity, specifically in the science, engineering, engineering, and arithmetic fields. And so, as those gaps get started to close, continue to the hole is persistent and so we know that we have to commence before, which is why we emphasis on actually intervening with women through the center college a long time in advance of they’re creating all those cemented conclusions all-around coursework and instructions for their professions.” 

One of the ladies that has benefitted from Engage in Like A Girl’s programming has been 14-calendar year-aged Hadley. She has attended a lot of camps, networking functions and most a short while ago spoke at the organization’s Women’s Management Summit.  

Hadley explained the capability to perform sports has now created an influence on her daily life.  

“It’s a little something you can appear forward to and you stick with it through the decades,” she claimed. “It teaches you to work as a group and do things with other folks and in particular if you do not know them, you can fulfill new people by sports activities and nonetheless do one thing you like.” 

In accordance to Dr. Clay, seeing women like Hadley prosper, and in change mentor other ladies to come across that exact pleasure, makes all of her initiatives worthwhile.  

“I’d say the most significant get the job done is when I see a girl’s eyes mild up right after she has tried a science experiment and it is really failed several instances and it at last will work. In our celebration of Intercontinental Women’s Working day, we held our yearly Women’s Leadership Summit and we experienced a section committed to  Hadley. Her phase was “Hacked with Hadley,” and she was paired with a mother-daughter duo who were being engineers. Part of the experiment was about the power of vitality and the power of mild, and how every single of us has a light. Our full concentrate that day was on mentorship and function types, as very well as the roles that women of all ages enjoy in encouraging placement and propel youthful ladies ahead in STEM careers and in sport. They had been able to ignite that gentle, spark that mild for activity, but also for STEM. That sensation of celebration that they had been able to effectively execute the actual experiment and then educate a new era of ladies how to perform it.” 

Nashville SC is supporting Enjoy Like A Female this thirty day period with a limited-version Women’s Background Thirty day period patch. All proceeds from the patch go right to Engage in Like A Girl. Click here to get yours.  

Dr. Clay suggests she’s grateful for the club’s support, as the two businesses share a frequent eyesight. 

“For us, our product is ‘inspiring play, unlocking probable,’” she explained. “And that is exactly what you might be carrying out in Nashville Soccer Club. You happen to be serving to companions like Play Like a Lady inspire the activity of soccer in a era that has so significantly opportunity and for ladies, we are definitely unlocking alternatives that they have under no circumstances even considered.” 

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