Though women and girls are often innovative thinkers both professionally and personally, they’ve long been underrepresented in STEM careers. It’s an imbalance that today’s industry professionals are seeking to equalize, noting that diverse workforces are a valuable asset and that women have long been privy to unfair roadblocks, negative work environments, and lesser pay in STEM fields than their male counterparts.
Professional outreach aimed at young women with interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics can help foster their interests and talents, allowing them to picture themselves living out their dream career and visualizing the path through which it can become a reality.
Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day, an event organized by the National Society of Professional Engineers, takes place this February 25. It’s a global campaign which finds professionals, teachers, and volunteers leading exciting STEM experiments and activities for girls — they’re designed to stimulate problem solving skills, help young women develop an identity in STEM, and give them a chance to put their talents to work.
They’ll be following in the footsteps of some of today’s most remarkable female innovators, such as:
- Evelyn Wang: The chair of MIT’s Department of Mechanical engineering, she was a collaborator in the design of a potentially life-saving technology which can draw water from air in dry climates.
- Kimberly Bryant: An accomplished electrical, biotechnical, and pharmaceutical engineer, she founded Black Girls Code after finding that available tech camps for her daughter were insufficient. The not-for-profit now has 15 chapters globally, and Bryant has been recognized as a White House Champion of Change for Tech Inclusion.
- Dr. Patricia Bath: An early pioneer and advocate for the use of laser surgery in treating cataract patients, she was also the first female member of the Jules Stein Institute, the first African-American surgeon on staff at UCLA Medical Center, and the first woman to lead a post-graduate ophthalmology program.
And, as the above visualization from We The Parents illustrates, women have been successful engineers for centuries.
Many events for this year’s Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day will occur virtually due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. To sign up as a volunteer or participant, visit NSPE online.