DeEtte Gray, president of BAE Systems‘ intelligence and security business, participated in a military-hosted event to discuss how to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics education.
Gray, 30 other executives and education leaders attended the forum with U.S. Army officials at Fort Myer in Arlington, Va., BAE said Thursday.
“STEM skills are central to almost everything we do,” said Gray, who spent time as a schoolteacher after graduating with a math and science degree at North Carolina State University.
“We have to reach the children and capture their hearts so they’re interested in math and science,” she added.
Gray cited mentors, good education and inspiration as key ingredients that pushed her to pursue a STEM career.
“We all need to engage our nation’s young people through STEM-related education and outreach programs,” said Gray.
“These efforts are vital to our physical security, our cybersecurity, and are imperative to our country’s ability to maintain its position as a global leader in innovation.
BAE says the Army will have nearly 3 million STEM-related job openings by 2020.