Meet our 2021 Matching Mentor, Rebecca Beck
Careers in the fields of math and science have often gone overlooked by girls who may lack the confidence in academics, specifically math and science, to pursue these jobs.
Giving women equal opportunities to thrive in STEM careers helps narrow the gender pay gap, enhances women's economic security and ensures a diverse and talented STEM workforce. The focus of early STEM programs is to help prevent these biases in the workforce and in the community. TechGYRLS at the YWCA does just that! We are creating social, emotional and cognitive development skills for at-risk girls, in order to increase their confidence in all areas of life, including academics and life-skills.
Rebecca Beck, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport, speaks about this program and why she is this years “Matching Mentor” for Giving Tuesday on November 30th.
Rebecca tells us that she believes, “TechGYRLS gives the opportunity for children in the age range to explore other career paths they might not otherwise have an opportunity to. It gives them the ability to express themselves and enjoy themselves as well as allows them to be creative in an analytical way.”
Rebecca says she was fortunate to have strong role-models as a child. Her mother and grandmother instilled in her that gender does not matter and you are able to achieve any goal you set. However, she later learned that not all environments were as supportive or encouraging to young girls in certain fields. Because she was in a small rural community, there were limited opportunities. Becoming active in agricultural clubs seemed like a great outlet for her love of this science. After working her way up through the agricultural club she decided she wanted to pursue a career in veterinary medicine.
“It was my hope to attend UT Veterinary College of Medicine and I began to apply for scholarships. One requirement of a scholarship I was looking at was to hold a position as an officer of a club. - I wanted to learn what I needed to do in order to hold a position of leadership within the club. I was told there would never be a female president. This interaction is what set my sights on, “Don’t tell me what I can’t do.”
She then turned her attention to ETSU and the medical field. “Throughout my career in the medical field, I have advanced into multiple roles and have had the honor of being elected the first female president under the age of forty at the legacy Wellmont Health System. I then received my next position with Ballad as Chief Operating Officer at Holston Valley and I hold responsibilities across the northwest market.”
As a member of the Board of Directors, Rebecca believes that the YWCA has given her the opportunity for personal growth and development as well as leadership opportunities. “It has given me the ability to network with women who share similar goals with myself as well as open up a whole new set of thought processes for me.”