The Challenge

If you had your way, how would an ideal gender inclusive STEM community look like? 

According to USAID and UNICEF, today's generation of girls are preparing to enter a world of work that is being transformed by innovation. Educated and skilled workers are in great demand, but roughly a quarter of young people – most of them female – are currently neither employed nor in education nor training.

International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and UNESCO suggest that 90% of jobs require some level of digital skills in developed economies, and are just as important in developing countries.

Transferable skills – such as self-confidence, problem solving, teamwork and critical thinking – are essential to succeed in the rapidly changing world of work, yet many schools do not focus on these “21st century skills”, including STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education.

In the Lower Mekong sub-region in particular, only 37.5% of technical staff are women, and only 34.7% hold managerial positions.

Many girls do not have access to mentors, career guidance or the training they need to transition from school to work. Those who are entrepreneurs face barriers to accessing finance or business skills. 

So we want to hear your opinions about it - Your #MekongMyWay


We are working with people around the world of all genders to make STEM an inclusive community for all. 

In partnership with UNICEF's "With Her: A Skilled GirlForce" efforts to improve an inclusive workforce community equipped with 21st century skills, the MekongSkills2Work Network, powered by USAID and Lower Mekong Initiative (LMI), is collaborating with Cisco's Women Rock-IT, LMI Women's Leadership Project and Wedu's Cambodia 400 program for the #MekongMyWay campaign.

February 1, 2019 marks the beginning of #MekongMyWay to bring in all stakeholders together to share stories, questions, and ideas on gender inclusivity in STEM, particular in the Lower Mekong countries (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam). 

To join the #MekongMyWay conversation, post online about: 

  • Questions that you would like to know about gender inclusivity;
  • Women and men breaking gender stereotypes, especially in STEM;
  • Gender issues you want to be addressed;
  • Any gender bias you faced or observed while studying/working;
  • Success stories of women leadership and/or mentorship (yourself or someone that you know);
  • Ideas for what you can do to create more gender inclusive environments.

You can post more than one entry - it might give you more opportunities to win the prizes. Remember, post before International Women's Day, March. 8, 2019 to be considered for the prizes!

Download Concept Note Here

    Let's talk about gender in STEM

    Win Prizes!

    Apart from your opportunity to participate in an international conversation to promote a global cause, we will also be selecting the top (3) three most compelling stories, questions, and ideas from the Lower Mekong countries at the end of the #MekongMyWay campaign!

    Deadline to be considered as the top finalists is on International Women's Day, March. 8, 2019. Make sure you start posting before then!

    The top three winners will receive:

    1. An exclusive 1-hour career counseling and advice on professional development from #MekongMyWay partners;
    2. Free access to Cisco Networking Academy courses on entrepreneurship and internet of things;
    3. Fast-track to exclusive mentorship, skills training, and funding opportunities with Wedu;
    4. Opportunities to connect with network of female leaders from Cisco's Networking Academy, Wedu and LMI Women's Leadership Project, and MekongSkills2Work Network

    We will also create a blog series on Gender Inclusivity featuring stories of the top 3 winners in more detail. Your stories will be featured on websites and social media of the MekongSkills2Work Network, Cisco's Networking Academy, Cisco's Women Rock-IT program, and Wedu. This will give you more opportunities to connect with the network and create more partnership potential.

    Let's stand "with her" here in the Lower Mekong - building together an inclusive STEM workforce for everyone.

    Make STEM inclusive

    Sounds good! How do I join?

    Post on Facebook using the hashtag #MekongMyWay, #WomenRockIT, #MakeItHappen and if you're from Cambodia, #WeduCambodia400. Make sure that:

    1. Your post is set to public.
    2. Discuss about your ideas, questions, or stories on the topic of gender inclusivity in STEM. This can be in any form - text, pictures, videos, gifs - you name it! Make sure that it's interesting, and you might be one of the top 3 finalists!
    3. Tag (so that we can go like, share, and comment on your posts!): 
    • @LowerMekong
    • @WomenrockitTVseries
    • @Cisco Networking Academy - Thailand
    • @WeduGlobal
    • @MAKECommunicationLLC

    Sample Facebook post

    Make sure to go 'like' and follow the Lower Mekong Initiative Facebook page for more updates.


    Frequently Asked Questions

    1. I'm not a female - can I join? 

    YES! We welcome entries from all gender, working together to build inclusivity.

    2. I'm not in STEM - can I join?

    YES! Transferrable skills are applicable for any sector, and if you have opinions or questions about improving them for women, that's right on track with #MekongMyWay! 

    See UNICEF's sample of what each of us can do to support an inclusive workforce here.

    3. What is the judging criteria for the top three winners? 

    • Interest and Creativity
      • Strong enthusiasm or curiosity about topic;
      • Creativity in delivery style. 
    • Content
      • Relevant to the topic of gender inclusivity in STEM and skills building;
      • Provide examples and/or facts;
      • Clearly describe experiences, questions, knowledge and/or suggestions.
    • Audience engagement
      • Increase visibility on gender inclusivity, especially in STEM;
      • Increase audience engagement (likes, shares, comments) on gender inclusivity, especially in STEM.

    4. When will the winners be announced? 

    Winners will be announced by the beginning of April 2019.

    6. More questions? We love that! Please send us a message on the Lower Mekong Initiative Facebook page or email us at info@mekongskills2work.org. 


    USAID's Gender Equality and Female Empowerment

    UNICEF GirlForce: Skills, Education and Training for Girls Now

    Cisco's Women Rock-IT

    Cisco's Networking Academy

    Wedu: Advancing Women's Leadership in Cambodia 

    UNFPA: Engaging Adolescent Boys and Young Men for Gender Inclusivity

    Make STEM inclusive!