Enterprise-wide, Caterpillar is committed to facilitating an environment that leverages skillsets and perspectives from all employees regardless of gender. For its ingenuity and inclusivity, the Wee Caterpillars program was selected as the business unit winner of the 2019 Caterpillar Excellence Award for Diversity & Inclusion.
In response to the impending shortage of skilled technology workers, a Caterpillar team from Northern Ireland developed the Wee Caterpillars program, which invited more than 50 students inside the Caterpillar facility. To encourage interest in STEM careers, the students were guided through the facility and showed product lines by female leaders; providing them glimpse in to a day-in-the-life. In doing so, women are observed in technical roles to serve as role models for the young children- especially girls, who make up a historically under-represented group within STEM careers.
Students reviewed the program highly, noting their enjoyment in being a “Caterpillar worker” for the day, suiting up for work with bump caps, high visibility vests and safety glasses. Brad George, the project sponsor for Wee Caterpillars, shared:
“The energy from the children is contagious and both student and teacher learn a lot from each session. I think these several aspects of the Wee Caterpillars program could have an influence on how Caterpillar continues their Diversity & Inclusion journey.”
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