BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Women make up 24 percent of the workforce in engineering careers, and ExxonMobil aims to increase that statistic.

One strategy the company uses to accomplish this is to hold meet-and-greet opportunities between school age girls and women who work as engineers.

As of now, 76 percent of the people who work in engineering are men and ExxonMobil’s Technical Supervisor, Shannon Donnelly, believes this is because there is not enough exposure for girls.

Donnelly said, “They don’t know how exciting it can be… If you don’t know a lot about it, you might think it’s boring. But that’s kind of why we’re here today… to show the wide range of things you can do with engineering.”

During the classroom sessions, students and ExxonMobil engineers engaged in one-on-one interactions while carrying out STEM (Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) activities.

The students were also encouraged to ask as many questions as they wanted.

Donnelly wants to add more women to the career field as a way of improving the work environment.

She noted that doing so, “brings a diversity of thought… a whole different range of perspectives versus having just sort of one background and one thought.”

ExxonMobil feels that ‘What they see is what they will be’ is accurate, hence the reason for the event.

Students told BRProud they enjoyed the opportunity to speak with the company’s engineers.

One student said the event helped her to realize that when it comes to STEM, there are plenty of opportunities for her.

Veronica Rhodes, an eighth grader at Scotlandville Pre-Engineering Magnet Academy, told BRProud, “It’s just learning more about the fields, even outside of chemical engineering. Like what? What else? Like engineering ties to STEM, ties to just other careers that I’m interested in.”

ExxonMobil is known for its efforts to offer a range of programs and activities designed to create and maintain a diverse workforce.