Gov. Kim Reynolds received the national Stand Up for STEM award Tuesday at the Million Women Mentors Summit & Awards in Washington, D.C. This is the first time the award has been presented at the national level.

The Stand Up for STEM award recognizes individuals who go above and beyond to include girls and women in conversations about STEM. Award presenters cited Gov. Reynolds’ ability to make a difference to the STEM movement in the United States through her deep commitment, enthusiasm and expertise.

STEM-related employment is projected to increase 16 percent from 2010 to 2020, totaling more than 8.5 million jobs. More than 75% of STEM workers are male. About 25% are female—even though women fill close to half of all jobs in the U.S. economy.

Female high school students are significantly less likely than their male counterparts to pursue a college major or career in STEM. Only 15 percent of female high school students will head down a STEM career path, as opposed to 44 percent of male high school students.

“We have to change that mindset,” Gov. Reynolds said. “Girls and young women need to understand the vast opportunities that await them in STEM-related careers. We must join together to inspire, nurture and engage America’s girls and young women to passionately pursue STEM careers.”

Gov. Reynolds also participated in a panel discussion on impacting states’ economies through women in STEM careers with Arkansas Lt. Governor Tim Griffin, Ohio Lt. Governor Mary Taylor and Tennessee Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Bradley Jackson.