Yvonne Brill invented satellite propulsion. Sarah Mather developed the underwater telescope. Ada Lovelace created the first computer algorithm. They were all women inventors, two words that many people don’t put together in a sentence very often. On March 8, International Women’s Day, it’s not only right to remember these and other female heroes, it’s just as important to encourage young women to know they can and should be among the next generation of inventors.
In a 2016 study, we looked at the LinkedIn profiles of millions of women skilled in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math to get a better understanding of their career paths and movement in the field. The results highlighted a challenge that many companies face: women in STEM roles are particularly hard to find and even tougher to keep.
A new independent public school in Richmond is testing a model for STEM education. CodeRVA High School is the result of a need to build a workforce in computer science and technology in the Richmond region. It’s an open, project-based, in-class and online learning environment that focuses on mastery of skills as opposed to grades.
“It’s unacceptable that we have so many American women who have these degrees but yet are not being employed in these fields, so I think that’s going to change, and it’s going to change very rapidly. Protecting women with STEM degrees and all Americans with STEM degrees - very important, but it also means you have to crackdown on offshoring, because the offshoring is a tremendous problem that displaces many of our American workers and brains, the brain power,” he said.
By 2020, STEM jobs in the United States are expected to increase by 10% (Lockard & Wolf, 2012); however, with some sectors reporting nearly 600,000 unfilled engineering jobs (BLS, 2015), declining numbers of engineering graduates cause alarm.
Corlis Murray - the senior vice president for quality assurance, regulatory and engineering services at global health care company Abbott - is one of today's leading women in the engineering industry, and her story isn't that different from the mathematicians portrayed in the Oscar-nominated film.
By increasing awareness of past gender and racial inequity, Hidden Figures has sparked interest in addressing the inequities that are still present today. Studies show that female and male students actually perform equally well in mathematics and science on standardized tests, but larger gaps exist between students of different racial and ethnic backgrounds or family income.
When we stare up at the night sky, we see shimmering stars, fuzzy galaxies and faint clouds of gas and dust. It is what we cannot see, however, that will forever remind us of astronomer Vera Rubin. Rubin is best known for confirming the existence of dark matter and, along the way, serving as an advocate for women in science and an inspiration to those who wanted to become scientists. She died on December 25, 2016. She was 88.
The STEM Education Coalition is very pleased that President Trump will sign a pair of bipartisan bills into law that will authorize NASA and the National Science Foundation to bolster their efforts to bring more women and girls into the critical science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.
Female leaders from the public and private sectors have joined forces to work on technology's gender problem.On Friday, three female governors are convening with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Deloitte LLP's consulting chief Janet Foutty, and Girls Who Code founder Reshma Saujani to discuss state-level computer science education policies benefitting girls.