GSK announces $10M program to advance Black people, Latinx people, women in STEM

For media and investors only

  • Efforts focus on Philadelphia students in collaboration with Philadelphia Education Fund

Issued: Philadelphia, PA

Global healthcare company GSK today announced a commitment of $10 million over 10 years to help Black, Latinx and female Philadelphia students overcome obstacles to their pursuit of careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

The announcement of the creation of the Philadelphia STEM Equity Collective was made during a virtual news conference that included Maya Martinez-Davis, GSK President of US Pharmaceuticals; Farah Jimenez, President and CEO of the Philadelphia Education Fund (PEF); Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney;  Philadelphia School District Superintendent Dr. William Hite; and Matt Stem, Deputy Secretary of the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education for the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

The Philadelphia STEM Equity Collective will work hand-in-hand with schools, out-of-school time providers, universities and colleges, employers, local government, and the philanthropic community using a collective impact approach to identify and close gaps confronting children from backgrounds underrepresented in STEM.

“At GSK, we believe that diversity helps to propel the innovation that can make our world better. But we know that for far too long, too many challenges have stood in the way of true inclusion of people of color and women in STEM careers,” said Maya Martinez-Davis, GSK President of US Pharmaceuticals. “The mission of the Philadelphia STEM Equity Collective is to overcome those challenges to benefit the children of Philadelphia, where GSK’s legacy spans nearly two centuries.”

The efforts are being guided by the Philadelphia Education Fund, which coordinates the city’s 400-plus-member Philadelphia STEM Ecosystem. GSK will provide backbone support for the Philadelphia STEM Equity Collective by funding dedicated management staff at the Philadelphia Education Fund and contributing the time and talent of pro bono GSK volunteers. In addition, GSK will support in-school programming and community efforts through annual grants of $1 million a year for 10 years to local nonprofits. An initial grant to Equal Measure is being used to develop a shared measurement system to guide actions and track outcomes.

“PEF was founded by individuals who believed Philadelphia schoolchildren deserve equitable access to college and career success,” said Farah Jimenez, President and CEO of the Philadelphia Education Fund.  “Students who are underrepresented on college campuses and in high-growth careers deserve our support to access these opportunities,” added Ms. Jimenez, “and we are grateful for the leadership, partnership, and commitment exhibited by GSK’s investment in the Philadelphia STEM Equity Collective."

Philadelphia is the sixth-largest US city in a region that is the nation’s eighth-largest STEM industry hub; it is also a city with a non-white majority – 43% of the population is Black and 15% of the population is Hispanic or Latino.  Nationally, while women constitute 50% of the college-educated workforce, they comprise only 28% of the science and engineering workforce. Blacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans make up 27% of the adult U.S. population – but only 11% of workers in science and engineering occupations.

And in Philadelphia, the 2019 Keystone exam results show that city’s students are behind their Commonwealth peers in STEM literacy. Factors include schools lacking resources to provide STEM enrichment activities for students, such as field trips or guest speakers, and teachers’ shrinking to access professional development opportunities.

GSK has a long history of investing philanthropic dollars in science education programs aimed at diverse and underserved audiences, most notably our 34-year-old GSK Science in the SummerTM program, which brings hands-on, free science camps into communities for thousands of US students each year.

The Philadelphia STEM Equity Collective is a natural next step in this work, and GSK and PEF welcome the involvement of additional schools, community organizations and the philanthropic community.

About GSK

GSK is a science-led global healthcare company with a special purpose: to help people do more, feel better, live longer. For further information please visit

About the Philadelphia Education Fund

The Philadelphia Education Fund creates equitable access to opportunities for students by providing resources and expertise that build paths to college and career success. Learn more at

Media Contacts:

GSK: Evan Berland

215 432 0234

PEF: Allison Kelsey

215 668 8798