As women continue in their quest to break glass ceilings and remove barriers to career achievement, their great work is perhaps most visible in the STEM fields. There, female innovators have contributed invaluably to our scientific and technological landscape, often while facing obstacles and discrimination on the path accomplishing their goals.
Today, the number of women in STEM continues to grow: in the past 30 years, female employment in life and physical science jobs has increased by 16%. Leaders in the science, technology, engingeering, and mathematics fields acknowledge and embrace the importance of encouraging female leadership in these important areas of study, and outreach programs, camps, courses, afterschool activities, toys, and games all exist targeting young women who may be interested in STEM.
Founded by the National Society of Professional Engineers in 1951, this year’s annual Engineering Week takes place from February 21-27. On February 25, the organization celebrates Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day, a worldwide outreach campaign encouraging teachers, engineers, and volunteers to guide girls through fun and challenging engineering games and activities designed to hone their problem solving skills and foster their STEM interest.
These future female STEM leaders will be in good company both with their predecessors and with today’s innovators, whose achievements and innovations continue to sculpt our world:
- Kimberly Bryant, the creator of the not-for-profit organization Black Girls Code, which encourages and enables young women of color to participate in coding education camps; in 2013, Bryant was named one of the 25 Most Influential African-Americans in Technology by Business Insider
- Evelyn Wang, the chair of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Department of mechanical engineering, a graduate of both MIT and Stanford University, and the creator of a technology which can produce water from air in arid climates
- Dr. Patricia Bath, the first female member of the Jules Stein institute, first female leader of a postgraduate ophthalmology program, and an early pioneer of laser surgery for cataract treatment
Be inspired by their stories and those of other women engineers n this infographic,10 FEMALE ENGINEERS WHO CHANGED OUR WORLD.
To find out more about Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day, visit the event website.