It wasn’t long ago that women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields were few and far between. Thankfully, our world is constantly evolving and with this evolution we are seeing more and more women stepping into fields more commonly dominated by men.
Still to this day, globally, women only make up less than a third of those employed in STEM fields. And since women are still the minority in these fields, I decided it would be wonderful to name just a few of these modern-day trailblazers. (These women in STEM are not listed in any particular order, AND there are so many more I could have added.)
Feel free to click their names to read more about these incredible women in STEM.
Today in 1968, Dr. Jocelyn Bell Burnell reported the discovery of 1st radio wave emitting star, known as a pulsar. pic.twitter.com/kG1HNpkvWI— Planet3 (@exploreplanet3) February 29, 2016
Dr. Jocelyn Bell Burnell was an astrophysicist who discovered the first radio pulsars in 1967, which is credited as “one of the most significant scientific achievements of the 20th Century.” And she was the first female president of the Institute of Physics!
I believe it’s never too early to get kids excited about STEM! That’s why I partnered with @LittleTikes to announce their new hands-on #STEMJR toy line that shows curious preschoolers that STEM is fun! #LittleTikes #KidsinSTEM #WonderLab pic.twitter.com/sEoD10FmzB— Mayim Bialik (@missmayim) August 20, 2018
Dr. Mayim Bialik is not only an amazing actress (you might recognize her from The Big Bang Theory), but she’s also an author AND a neuroscientist. She has been an outspoken advocate for “Science is for everyone,” and uses her multiple platforms to promote this message.
Liu Yang is a Chinese pilot and astronaut. On 16 June 2012 she became the first Chinese woman in space. pic.twitter.com/PDDiPjvqdr— Space Explorer Mike (@MichaelGalanin) August 29, 2017
Not only an accomplished pilot, Liu Yang also became the first Chinese woman to travel into space on June 16, 2012.
Count Girls In:— IPGbook (@IPGbooknews) August 1, 2018
Empowering Girls to Combine Any Interests with STEM to Open Up a World of Opportunity
By Karen Panetta & Katianne Williamshttps://t.co/tH11GeW8Bg@nerdgirls @nerdgirlz @ChiReviewPress #STEMgirls #girlsinstem pic.twitter.com/fN1YQmNqpN
Founder of the international Nerd Girls program, Dr. Panetta conducts engineering outreach activities with kids, parents, and educators. She is committed to promoting the image of “Nerd Girls” as intelligent, well-rounded women that can handle anything the world throws at them. She is truly a woman to celebrate in STEM.
“I believe the purpose of science is to make a difference.” We are SO inspired by Gitanjali Rao, the 11-year-old scientist who built a device to test water for lead. The future is in good hands! 🙌https://t.co/WHNXEK2CIt pic.twitter.com/YN9c1iCNxF— MAKERS (@MAKERSwomen) August 10, 2018
An 11-year-old young lady who is changing the world by building a device that can test water for lead! Not yet an adult woman, but definitely worthy of being on our amazing list.
#OTD in 2014 Iranian mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani became the 1st woman to win the Fields Medal, the maths equivalent of the Nobel Prize. Her work had implications in fields from cryptography to the theoretical physics of how the universe came to exist. https://t.co/Z6gMAvIUR1 pic.twitter.com/eGgb2eoPtw— On This Day She (@OnThisDayShe) August 13, 2018
Maryam Mirzakhani won the 2014 Fields Medal, which is said to be the highest honor in mathematics.
"When I had this dream of Africa, my mother was the only one who supported me. Everybody else laughed and said, 'Get real, dream about something you can achieve. You'll never get to Africa. It's far away, and you're only a girl." https://t.co/U6RaVJwtkp #JaneGoodall #girlpower pic.twitter.com/gOVB6GDxeg— Jane Goodall 🇨🇦 (@JaneGoodallCAN) August 21, 2018
Not only a primatologist and anthropologist, but Jane Goodall also was named a UN Messenger of Peace in 2002. She’s considered the world’s utmost expert on chimpanzees, after over 55 years studying them. She was also the first to discover that chimps use tools and this discovery has changed the way scientists observe such primates.
A senior at Harvard University, Pooja Chandrashekar has already shown her passion for STEM by advocating throughout high school for inclusion in the field. She founded ProjectCSGIRLS, “an international community of girls using tech to change the world.”
The (assistant) professor is in! I'm *elated* to announce that I'll be joining the faculty at @dartmouth College this fall. Consider this my shameless plug for undergrads, graduate students + ONE amazing postdoc to join the #IslerBlazarGroup. Will it be you? #VanguardSTEM pic.twitter.com/VSCoJ2Hdu0— Jedidah Isler, PhD (@JedidahIslerPhD) April 9, 2018
Dr. Jedidah Isler is the first African-American woman to earn a PhD in astrophysics from Yale. She’s also a huge advocate for women of color in science, a Ted Fellow, and the founder and host of VanguardSTEM.
Join @astrotapBR @TheVarsityBR— LSU Research (@LSUResearch) April 6, 2018
next Thursday, 4/12 at 6:30pm to hear @LSUphysastro scientists Gabriela González & Emily Safron talk about black holes and the science of #Interstellar. See you there!https://t.co/P3Fd8NjQ41 pic.twitter.com/VUEMK4Ufl5
Gabriela Gonzalez is part of a group of over 1,000 scientists who, for the first time, help measure the gravitational waves that Einstein predicted over 100 years ago.
Yes, this was a very short list and I could have included SO many more fantastic women who are setting a new standard for how we look at the STEM fields. They are heroes and role models for this next generation of young ladies who might have been told they could only be “princesses” when they grew up.
Instead, we have girls as young as four and five years old wanting to be astronauts. We have teenagers in high school fighting for better STEM programs in their schools. We have young women stepping up and showing that being smart is beautiful, that being a geek is actually one of the bravest and coolest things you can be. We’ve somehow backed away from the saying, “you can be anything you wish” over the years and these women are putting that message back into our youth. And how incredibly inspiring is that?
So, tell me, who has inspired you in life? Who else do you think we should have included in our list? Leave us a comment below.
Featured image credit: Slate.com