The STEM Female Role Model Spotlight posts really serve several purposes. First, they are to show that there are, in fact, lots of really good female role models in STEM fields. I try to keep a good mix of those you have likely heard of and those you probably haven’t, across a spread of fields to include everything from computers to chemistry to carbon-dating, and time periods ranging from the earliest scientists to current day computer wizards. This is important because studies have shown that one of the biggest things that keeps girls from entering STEM fields is a lack of visible female role models in the field – if they don’t see women, especially successful ones in leadership roles in that field, they tend to think it’s ‘not for women’ and the cycle keeps on repeating itself. Nothing ever changes.
Second, they give me something to write about on days when I don’t have any other topic in mind. I have a growing list of women who I think would be good for these posts. I can pick one from the list who, on any given day, I would like to do a little digging on, learn more about, and write about. These posts save me from ever having to deal with a bad case of writer’s block! Since I try to write every day, this is crucial.
Third, I just find making these posts fun and interesting. I enjoy the research part, and think of it as creating a sort of database I can refer to if my daughter is ever looking for a good role model in a particular field.
I hope you find these women’s stories interesting as well. I welcome any additions to that list, so please feel free to nominate someone you know of who hasn’t been featured yet!