The Maui County Committee on the Status of Women is now accepting nominations for the 2013 “Women of Excellence” awards. The awards program will be held in March, Women’s History Month, and will recognize women in Maui County who have exhibited excellence in the following categories:
• Young Woman of Promise (14-21 yrs.)
• Woman of Excellence (21 yrs. and older)
• Unsung Hero
• Honorary Historical Award (Posthumous)
• Career Achievement
This year’s award theme is “Women Inspiring Innovation through Imagination–Celebrating Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
“The national demand for scientists and engineers is expected to increase four times that of all other occupations,” said Maria Ornellas, Women’s History Month chair and vice-chair of the Committee of the Status of Women, in a Jan. 23 statement. “Through recognition programs such as this, we hope to call attention to the Maui County women in STEM fields who are helping lead the way for women of all ages in Maui County.”
The awards come at a time when the U.S. faces high unemployment while, paradoxically, American companies are still finding themselves in need of new STEM workers. Meanwhile, women hold only 27 percent of computer science jobs and one in seven engineering jobs. A recent Forbes article reports that less than 20 percent of bachelor’s degrees in computer science go to women, even though 60 percent of newly awarded bachelor’s degrees belong to females.
Nomination forms are available online at mauicounty.gov/csw, via email at Maria.Ornellas@yahoo.com or by calling Ornellas at 808-372-5177. The deadline to submit nomination forms is Friday, Feb. 8; honorees will be recognized at a special celebration during March at a time and location to be determined.