I paraphrased a quote from Field of Dreams for the title of this post, but you get the gist. If you build the opportunity, women will come be a part of it.
We ran an event for young women last year to get them interested in STEM fields as a career. Cut to me now sifting through the applicants for high school summer interns and we are getting a lot more applications from young women in high school and particularly women from underrepresented minority backgrounds than we have before. This to me is a huge success and does not occur in a vacuum. This is a testament to the huge buy in from our institution, local civic groups (in particular women's groups), and STEM-related businesses.
Now we have the fantastic opportunity to show these young women that would normally not have a significant exposure to science that STEM careers are attainable, rewarding, and really damn cool.