Play Like a Girl CEO Dr. Clay Levels the Playing Field for Girls in STEM

By Lavall Chichester

It’s time to Play Like a Girl and learn why Dr. Kimberly Clay created the organization to show young girls how to succeed beyond the classroom through careers in STEAM and sports. Check out her interview on Cheddar as a part of their series Women Who Roar series sponsored by MoneyLion.

Dr. Kimberly Clay, founder and CEO of Play Like a Girl is encouraging girls to stay involved in sports as well as focus their studies om STEM ( science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). 

During Dr. Clay’s time at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, she began to make the connection between athletics and women who excelled both academically and financially in the world. Shortly after this lightbulb moment, Dr. Clay started the organization to encourage middle school-aged girls to get and stay involved in STEM and athletics. 

Over the past 16 years, Play Like a Girl has reached over 25,000 girls by way of mentorship, summer camps, field trips, sports outings, virtual activities and more. The foundation helps girls find their way out of difficult economic and social situations by showing them they can have a direct path to financial independence through STEM careers.

Even throughout the pandemic, the foundation partnered with Linkedin to find virtual mentors to the young girls in need of some inspiration during these uncertain times. The new virtual mentors were trained and matched to girls all over the country and has been a great success for everyone involved. 

A large focus of Play Like a Girl is equality in the workforce and economic independence. Dr. Clay has experienced firsthand that working in STEM career paths a person has the potential to see higher earnings and ongoing opportunities for growth

Play Like a Girl doesn’t just stop at teaching girls how to earn but it also encourages financial literacy early. This extends to checking, savings investing and budgeting to create a healthy financial understanding before the girls start earning. Dr. Clay also notes that with their financial literacy training they hope to inspire some girls to enter into the ever-growing FinTech industry. 

Want to help Dr. Kimberly Clay and Play Like a Girl? 

The organization is always looking to work with companies that can advocate for girls and use their employee resource groups to create mentoring opportunities and field trips where they can see STEM careers in person. 

This year, Play Like a Girl teamed up with Paretta Autosports to introduce young women to the motorsports industry. With access from Peretta Autosports, some of the Play Like a Girl squad attended the Indy 500 this past May and will present at the Music City Grand Prix this coming August. The girls will get to see the first majority-female racing team in history work and compete in a traditionally male-dominated field. 

According to Play Like a Girl, 94% of C suite are former athletes, let’s all empower all girls to stay in sports and get involved with STEM!

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