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Girls gather together Friday to learn about the importance of women in STEM fields. (Photo: Helen Holt/WWAY)

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — GE Hitachi hosted their 9th annual Girls in Technology event at UNCW.

More than 100 middle schoolers gathered together to learn the importance of females in STEM fields.

The event is to promote women in science, technology, engineering and math or STEM.

The girls from New Hanover and Pender counties learned from GE Hitachi employees and worked on interactive activities.

Mona Badie with GE Hitachi says about 40,000 people graduate in technology fields every year but only 18% are female so she hopes events like these make a difference.

“This is what we need,” Badie said. “We need more women in leadership in technology and to go out and push that initiative so we can get more people to see a role model and go for that track.”

She says targeting the middle school age is important because this is when many are still deciding what want they want to do in life so exposing them to different opportunities is key.

GE hopes to have at least 20,000 women in technology fields by 2020 through their initiative called “Balancing the Equation.”

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