Women in the U.S. make up half the national workforce, but when it comes to careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), men outnumber women, 3 to 1.
Camilla Gazal and Flavia Naslausky are two Brazilian-American moms in Connecticut on a mission to close that gap. As the first franchisees with the new company Zaniac, they are offering an opportunity for young girls -- and boys -- to fall in love with STEM. Their vehicle is Zaniac, which offers after-school "campuses" for kids in grades K-8. Unlike traditional tutoring, Zaniac offers activities like robotics using LEGO, computer coding, 3D printing, app design and lessons about physics using the game Minecraft.
With their nearly 40 years of combined experience in the male-dominated financial industry, Gazal and Naslausky are using that business expertise to start reversing the shortfalls of STEM curricula.
The women have some ready-and-willing guinea pigs to practice on: They are the mothers, between them, of five children, ages 8 to 13. And both have previously worked to bolster their children's math education at home. Now, they have a more formalized system to expand their mission to make up for the gaps in K-8 education -- and maybe even make some money along the way.