Narrowing the gap of under-represented students in the STEM talent pipeline through Dow Leadership Academy

Dow Leadership Academy participates from Louisiana

Feb 01, 2021 | Case Study

Dow believes that inclusion is imperative to effectively do business as a global company, to be connected with our global stakeholders and to benefit from the full potential of a diverse, creative and empowered workforce.


Dow’s Louisiana Operations apprenticeship applicant statistics showed consistent diversity gaps within their applicant pool.


To address these gaps, Dow in partnership with Terry Simmons and Company, developed the Dow Leadership Academy, a program created to support under-represented high school students to walk alongside them in mentorship and augment their training in communication, social skills, leadership, and financial literacy, as well as offer STEM career exploration and experiences.

The first pilot cohort, beginning in the fall of 2017, included 15 10th grade students enrolled in Iberville School District. Through the program, these students engaged in two sessions per month over the course of three years until graduation.

Each student in the program was assigned a Dow mentor for accountability, tutoring, and family support. The mentorship component increased student engagement academically and provided mentees an example of what is possible.


As a result – Dow Leadership Academy mentees reported tremendous positive impact:

  • 100% academy mentees graduated vs. 73% graduation rate at White Castle High School in Iberville Parish.
  • 90% academy mentees are now pursuing STEM careers
  • Cumulative GPA increased from 2.91 to 3.14

This successful program will be expanding in 2021.