March 9, 2013
Nissan Opens its House to Engage Future Female Engineers
March 8 – Franklin, Tenn. – Jennifer Hill is a former Tennessee Titans and Nashville Predators cheerleader. She is also a process engineer and manager at Nissan Motor Company.
“I wanted to dance and I also wanted to pursue a career in technology, and I decided to do both,” said Hill, during a keynote address at a DigiGirlz event hosted at Nissan Americas.
Big companies like Nissan say they struggle to find enough qualified engineers in general. And only about 18 percent of the people applying for these kinds of jobs are women.
“We have so many positions for talented people in these areas and there is such a shortage for qualified people coming out of school to go into these jobs,” said Trisha Jung, director of Vehicle Connected Services at Nissan.
To help stock the future employee pool with the right types of training and skills, Nissan partnered with Microsoft to bring the tech giant’s day-long DigiGirlz program to Nissan’s Americas headquarters in Franklin, Tenn.
DigiGirlz encourages girls to pursue a career in science, technology engineering or mathematics.
Hill’s keynote speech was inspiring to the attendees, who realized that sometimes seemingly opposing interests can peacefully co-exist.
Katerina Sekulovski is a student at Tennessee’s Brentwood High School. She loves computer programming. But she wasn’t sure she could, or should, pursue it as a career because she also loves to play the piano and the guitar. Hearing Hill’s story at the DigiGirlz event made her less confused about her future. “She just told me you can do both. You don’t have to choose. So that was really cool to know.”
Last month Nissan opened a new facility in the high-tech capitol of the country, the Nissan Research Center Silicon Valley. It is an office that was established to explore new technology that will change the automobile industry completely. Today’s DigiGirlz, like Sekulovski, just might be the future innovative engineers the company hires to make it happen.