Deloitte and The Ella Project, creator of Ella the Engineer, launched a new collaborative comic book series with the goal of exposing girls to STEM in a fun and unique way.
The graphic novel series features comic book character Ella solving various problems using her STEM skill set under the guidance of various Deloitte leaders, including Deloitte Chair and Consulting CEO Janet Foutty and Chief Innovation Officer Nishita Henry.
Geared toward inspiring educational and student groups around the country, Ella the Engineer was created to showcase a young, female role model with a passion for science, technology, engineering, math, and entrepreneurship with whom many students can identify. The series champions problem-solving skills, tech-savviness, collaboration, and various emerging technologies to get to the bottom of hijinks and challenges facing the main characters. In the inaugural issue with Deloitte, Janet Foutty encourages Ella to use analytics to piece together the whereabouts of her stolen class pet. Deloitte’s involvement in this creative project underscores its long-standing commitment to diversity, inclusion and STEM education.
“Deloitte is committed to creating opportunities for women and underrepresented minorities to enter into productive careers in STEM and STEM adjacent fields – and it starts with early education,” said Janet Foutty, chair and CEO, Deloitte Consulting LLP.
Despite ongoing efforts to gain parity, women currently only represent 28 percent of STEM jobs in the United States. The need for STEM workers will permeate every industry, as noted by a recent study by the National Association of Manufacturing and Deloitte. The study revealed a need for 3.5 million STEM jobs by 2025, with more than 2 million going unfilled due to the lack of highly skilled candidates to meet current demand.
Deloitte’s collaboration with The Ella Project is the latest in its efforts to create multiple pathways to STEM and STEM adjacent skills development and career opportunities to help build an inclusive and tech-savvy workforce.
“We are thrilled to have the support of Deloitte for The Ella Project,” said Ella founder Anthony Onesto. “This collaboration allows us the opportunity to highlight real life female role models in STEM; as their stories are woven into edutainment, we know to be invaluable to our future leaders. Ella, our tech savvy hero, is someone who young kids, girls and boys alike, can relate to and encourages the importance of critical-thinking throughout her exciting adventures.”
The series will be four comic books, plus a graphic novel. Other Deloitte leaders to be featured include Catherine Bannister, managing director, Deloitte Consulting LLP and chief talent officer, technology; and Kelly Herod, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP.
The graphic novel series will be circulated to schools and educational groups around the country in an effort to inspire new generations of tech talent.