Las Vegas Sun

April 25, 2019

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Lieutenant governor, Jones Blackhurst team up on mentoring for women

Kate Marshall

Kate Marshall

Jan Jones Blackhurst

Jan Jones Blackhurst

A day after being sworn in as Nevada’s lieutenant governor, Kate Marshall joined Caesars Entertainment executive Jan Jones Blackhurst today to announce the formation of a state organization to encourage girls and young women to pursue careers in science and technology.

Marshall and Blackhurst have teamed to start a Nevada chapter of Million Women Mentors, which has attracted more than 2 million women nationwide to help lead others into the STEM field. Nevada joins some 40 other states with chapters in MWM, which was founded four years ago.

Marshall will serve as state chairwoman and will be part of a steering committee with Blackhurst, a former Las Vegas mayor who serves as Caesars’ executive vice president for public policy and corporate responsibility. Blackhurst approached Marshall after learning about MWM during a visit to Washington, D.C.

During a launch event at Caesars, the two invited other businesses to contact the organization and help provide mentoring opportunities. From there, the national organization will provide the state chapter with an activation kit that will serve as a blueprint to pair mentors with students and young career women. Plans call for the state chapter to begin pairings in the next three months.

The opportunities are open-ended, but Marshall and Blackhurst said they would apply to virtually any industry. In gaming alone, Blackhurst said, there are extensive technology needs in gaming machines, food services and many other areas.

“We become a shining example of where you can come for opportunities, but there are so many others,” she said.

Marshall said the oldest of her two daughters offered an example of how technology has permeated the workplace.

“She majored in molecular and cellular biology,” she said. “She had to code in order to be able to do her research. But you wouldn’t necessarily put those two things together.”

The launch of the state chapter comes at a time when women are surging into leadership positions in Nevada. The state became the first in U.S. history with a female-majority Legislature after the 2018 midterms. Both of the state’s senators are women, as are two of its four members of the House.

Businesses interested in joining the program or individuals seeking more information can email [email protected].