The Asia Foundation’s Future Skills Alliance Launches Phase Two of STEM ConnectHER, Paving the Way for Women in STEM

March 1, 2024 — The Asia Foundation’s Future Skills Alliance (FSA) launches the second phase of STEM ConnectHER. The initiative aims to promote women’s participation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in Asia and the Pacific. Building on its successful pilot in 2021, the program will expand its network in Korea, Japan, India, Malaysia, and Singapore and provide mentorship and professional development opportunities to up to 1,000 aspiring and early-in-career women in STEM. 

Globally, women are often underrepresented in STEM, accounting for only 29% of entry-level positions and 12% of C-suite roles. The same issue persists in Asia and the Pacific, where less than a third of female students choose to study higher education courses in STEM, and only one in five pursue careers in science and related fields. A report published by The Asia Foundation and Zendesk highlights the vital role of networks in helping girls and women enter and succeed in STEM fields.  

STEM ConnectHER will work with FSA members and industry partners to address the gender imbalance in STEM fields, recognizing that promoting inclusive and equitable education and opportunities in STEM requires collective action. Networks such as STEM ConnectHER facilitate mentorship and peer support and provide opportunities for technical and leadership skills development, knowledge exchange, collaboration, and more. 

With support and funding from leading companies, STEM ConnectHER will provide female students and aspiring professionals across the region with access to learning resources and opportunities, including networking and mentorship sessions, workplace visits, job accelerators, and certification support. The program aspires to see more young women start and persist in careers in STEM fields, with the longer-term goal of creating inclusive and innovative opportunities for all. Learn more about the program at 

Register for the launch event on March 18 by visiting Sign up as a student or a mentor or get in touch as an academic partner at [email protected] 

The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives and expanding opportunities across Asia and the Pacific. Informed by 70 years of experience and deep local knowledge, our work is focused on governance, climate action, gender equality, education and leadership, inclusive growth, and international cooperation. We work in more than 20 countries through our 17 permanent country offices and programs across Asia and the Pacific, supported by a headquarters in San Francisco and an office in Washington, DC. Our funding comes from a diverse array of bilateral and multilateral development agencies, foundations, corporations, and individuals. 

Read more about the Foundation’s work. 

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Media contact

Eelynn Sim, Director, Strategy and Programs
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