Nissan teamed up with Microsoft’s DigiGirlz program to host a technology open house at its American headquarters in Tennessee. The event, lead by former Tennessee Titans cheerleader Jennifer Hill – who is now a process engineer at Nissan – brought in teenage girls from the area to showcase the high-technology that goes into today’s automobile and give them a glimpse into the types of work they could be doing were they to choose science and tech as a career choice.
Nissan says that, like most companies, it’s struggling to find qualified, talented engineers to fill its needs and that of those who do apply, only about eighteen percent are women. Many, like Hill, have a passion for engineering but choose to pursue other careers first because they believe they won’t get the opportunity again. Hill says that she is an example of how women can choose to pursue all their dreams, not just one, and become what they want to be. In her case, she was a professional dancer for two Tennessee sports teams and used that to pay for her college education to pursue an interest in engineering. ”I wanted to dance and I also wanted to pursue a career in technology, and I decided to do both,” she said in a keynote.
You can see some of the young women Hill inspired during the event in Tennessee in a video by going to this Nissan video. Nissan is aggressively targeting technology for in-house development and recently opened a new tech center in Silicon Valley to more than double the size of its tech arm in the Americas.