Inspiring and Empowering Women in Engineering
As an innovation company, Covestro recognizes the importance of building a diverse and inclusive culture – one that engages and supports bright people with bright ideas, tapping into different perspectives to push boundaries in innovation.
This commitment is reflected in the company’s efforts to advance women in STEM – from empowering its own employees to inspiring the next generation of female talent.
Through its i3 (ignite, imagine, innovate) STEM initiative, Covestro ignites young minds to become the innovators of tomorrow through hands-on learning, workforce experience and employee volunteerism. This robust program also includes a focus on promoting greater diversity in STEM by providing scholarship, internship, mentoring and unique educational opportunities geared toward women and underrepresented minorities.
But Covestro knows that it can achieve the greatest impact through collaboration, which is why it supports organizations and initiatives, like Project SEED, Girls in Science and g4g (greenlight for girls).
- Project SEED aims to bring more women and underrepresented minorities into the STEM fields through summer internship opportunities geared toward economically disadvantaged high school students. In 2017, 88 percent of the 411 Project SEED students said that their internship experience inspired them to pursue a college degree. Almost 70 percent said they were interested in a career in science. Covestro has long supported the program, hosting interns each summer at its North American headquarters in Pittsburgh. Students participate in scientific research, gain on-the-job experience and are mentored by Covestro scientists and engineers.
- At its Baytown, Texas, manufacturing facility, Covestro teamed with The Manufacturing Institute’s STEP Ahead initiative, Lee College, a local Hispanic Serving Institution, and Goose Creek Independent School District to create a monthly “Girls in Science” mentoring luncheon series. Each lunch, attended by more than 60 high school girls, features panels on digital technology, drafting, engineering and computer science. More than a dozen Covestro female manufacturing employees participate regularly, sharing their insights on panels and mentoring students.
- g4g is an international nonprofit that aims to introduce more girls and women of all ages to STEM subjects, careers and role models through fun, interactive events. Covestro first entered into a global sponsorship with g4g in 2015. Since then, the company has hosted more than 10 g4g events around the world, reaching nearly 3,000 girls (aged 7-15) and introducing them to nearly 700 Covestro role-model volunteers…and counting. Covestro has more g4g events lined up for 2018. Overall, more than 94% of girls consider STEM careers after g4g events.
But Covestro isn’t just encouraging girls to pursue careers in science and engineering, it is also providing them with career opportunities. In 2018, 64 percent of the new graduates hired into Covestro’s rotational development programs were chemical engineers. Of those, 57 percent were female.
A number of women at Covestro have not only found rewarding careers with the company, but have been nationally recognized for their industry leadership. Fourteen Covestro employees have been presented with The Manufacturing Institute’s “STEP Ahead Awards”, since the program’s inception in 2013. Of the 14 honorees, 11 have STEM backgrounds and / or are in a STEM-related role. This prestigious honor is given to women in the manufacturing industry who are making a difference through advocacy, mentorship, engagement, promotion and leadership.
Accepting on behalf of Covestro is Jerry MacCleary, Chairman and CEO
Covestro has long been committed to advancing STEM education and bringing more female and underrepresented minorities to the STEM table through scholarships, internships and support of educational programs.
MacCleary joined Covestro (then part of Bayer) in 1979 as an accountant, before moving into a technical sales role in the plastics division. He continued to assume positions of increasing responsibility within sales, marketing, general management and strategic leadership. He also completed two international assignments in Germany.
A leader in the chemical industry, MacCleary serves as chairman of the American Chemistry Council’s Executive Committee. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Manufacturers.
In the Pittsburgh region, MacCleary serves on the Board of Directors for the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania and the Imani Christian Academy. In addition, MacCleary serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation.
He holds a bachelor's degree in accounting from West Virginia University.
MacCleary is married, has three children, and resides in Venetia, Pa., a suburb of Pittsburgh.