Women in STEM

Women represent 48 percent of the U.S. workforce, but certain types of jobs continue to be heavily dominated by males across the country and in Kern County. Jobs requiring STEM training (science, technology, engineering, and math) are especially skewed in terms of gender.

Our mission is to encourage women in professional skill development and career advancement as well as provide networking opportunities across industry and academia; to reach professional women across Kern County in professions related to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math; and to encourage and mentor female students to achieve success in STEM careers.

KEDF’s newest initiative brings together local female STEM professionals in settings where they can share experiences, meet other professionals across industries, and advance their own careers.

Nurturing increased STEM interest among women and girls can open up a world of opportunity for them and, at the same time, take Kern County’s workforce and economy to the next level.


KEDF’s Women in STEM Circle effort is based on Sheryl Sandberg’s book, Lean In, and the on-line programming that grew out of it.  More than 30,000 circles are in place around the world, and they provide a small group environment for women who will meet regularly and provide each other with professional encouragement and peer support.

The initial KC Women in STEM Circle was initiated by Cynthia Johnson from California Resources Corporation. This and future KC Women in STEM Circles will be limited to 12 participants coming from industry and education backgrounds, and represent a variety of age groups.  If you are interested in participating in or leading a future Circle group contact Cheryl Scott at cheryl@kedc.com or 661-862-5162.



Jeannie Headshot

Jeannie Bertolaccini

Jeannie is a licensed architect and associate at Ordiz Melby Architects, Inc., and she is passionate about mentoring and inspiring young women in STEM classes and careers to stay focused and work hard, whether their interest is science, technology, engineering, or math.

Click here to read more!




Elaina Rusk

Adopting her father’s interest in weather and storm chasing, Elaina Rusk combined her love for science and journalism to being Channel 23 KERO’s Chief Meteorologist. After moving from one reporting job to the next, Elaina found residence in Kern County which she now calls home. She is very passionate about showing young students the importance of STEM fields and making an impact on the community!

Click here to read more!




Elizabeth Straley

One of Kern County’s newest residents, Elizabeth Straley, is one to thank for filling grocery stores with summer’s most popular snack… watermelon! As a local watermelon breeder at United Genetic Seeds, Elizabeth’s daily routine at work is different from a typical day in the office.

Click here to read more!





Madeline Ramey

Being a Facilities Engineer with Chevron is more than just a job for Madeline Ramey. She sees it as being an onsite detective to solve the mysteries of equipment failure!

Click here to read more!