Commerce Bank Hosts “Hour of Code” for Female Kansas City Students to Nurture Interest in Future STEM Careers
Recognizing the need for more women in tech-related fields, Commerce has been actively involved with Girls in Tech KC since inception
Kansas City, MO – December 11, 2019 – In an effort to enhance girls’ interest in STEM careers and connect them with dynamic mentors, Commerce Bank hosted an immersive and fun tech challenge for 50 female middle and high school students in Kansas City. Commerce invited girls from the North Kansas City School District for a half day event that included an ‘hour of code’ challenge to create a dance with music and featured a panel discussion on a variety of STEM-related career choices. The students also heard advice from Commerce senior vice president, Jill Brungardt, director of information security, who talked about her own education and path to a high-ranking STEM career.
The event was planned in collaboration with the KC STEM Alliance, a network of educators, business partners and affiliates created to boost interest in STEM careers. Commerce works with the Alliance to lead programs to increase Kansas City-area girls’ interest in studying fields such as computer science. According to the Alliance, women remain under-represented in all STEM fields, but especially in computing occupations, where women represent only 26 percent of professional positions even though they hold 57 percent of professional occupations overall.
“We host this event year after year, because intuitively, we believe we are making a difference in the lives of these girls. But only recently did we see those results come back to us firsthand,” said Lacey Frank, an assistant vice president and IT workforce strategies manager at Commerce. “We recently had a candidate apply for an IT internship with us and she told us she attended our very first coding event. We were so excited to see it come full circle.”
Commerce has been involved with Girls in Tech KC since its inception in 2015. The program is a local movement to encourage girls to explore the power of science through hands-on experiences and connecting with female mentors, as well as sharing their experiences on social media.
About Commerce Bancshares, Inc.
With $25.9 billion in assets as of September 30, 2019, Commerce Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ: CBSH) is a regional bank holding company offering a full line of banking services, including payment solutions, investment management and securities brokerage. Commerce Bank, a subsidiary of Commerce Bancshares, Inc., leverages more than 150 years of proven strength and experience to help individuals and businesses solve financial challenges. In addition to offering payment solutions across the U.S., the Company currently operates full service banking facilities across the Midwest including the St. Louis and Kansas City metropolitan areas, Springfield, Central Missouri, Central Illinois, Wichita, Tulsa, Oklahoma City and Denver. Commerce Bank also maintains commercial offices in Dallas, Houston, Cincinnati, Nashville, Des Moines, Indianapolis, and Grand Rapids. Commerce delivers high-touch service and sophisticated financial solutions at regional branches, commercial offices, ATMs, online, mobile and through a 24/7 customer service line. Learn more at www.commercebank.com.