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The International Day of Women and Girls in Science is celebrated on February 11th. At Clearfield, we celebrate it every day.

This special day was established in 2015 by the UN General Assembly to recognize the critical role women and girls play in science and technology. It comes as no surprise that there are longstanding biases and gender stereotypes that steer girls and women away from science-related fields. According to the UN Scientific Education and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), fewer than 30% of researchers worldwide are women, and approximately 30% of all female students select STEM-related fields in higher education. Globally, the enrollment of female students is particularly low in information and communications technology (3%); natural science, mathematics and statistics (5%); and engineering, manufacturing and construction (8%).

Clearfield has been a proud promoter of women in science since our earliest days. We had no political agenda. We simply hired the best people with the best minds to do the best job.

Some of us started in the trades – climbing telephone poles, earning their technical stripes as “just one of the guys.” Others pursued technical degrees in fields like mechanical engineering and packaging engineering, and have brought that expertise to Clearfield. Others went to college to study the humanities or business, but found their technical competencies transferred well into product management and product marketing. Whatever path, I’m proud that 25% of all professional positions at Clearfield are staffed by women. 

Just over 5% of CEOs in the Russell 3000 (the 3000 largest public companies in the U.S.) are run by women. But if we look at the technology sector, it’s only about 2.5%. As one of those women, I’ve never thought of myself as a pioneer -- after all, I’m just doing my job. 

Nichelle Nichols, who played the character Lieutenant Uhura in the Star Trek series once said, “Science is not a boy’s game, it is not a girl’s game. It is everyone’s game.” I agree, but women still have a distance to travel to be on equal footing in the science world. Clearfield will continue to champion their place on the front lines of science, and provide all great minds a platform to soar.

By Cheri Beranek

A founding member of Clearfield, Inc., Cheri Beranek is considered a communications visionary. Her extensive leadership experience and unique management style combined deliver outstanding corporate performance.

Under her direction, Clearfield has recorded 10 consecutive years of profitability and posted historic gains in both the market capitalization and shareholder equity. Today, Clearfield is a multinational business with more than 250 employees and over 700 customers.