Happy International Day of Women and Girls in Science!
I was inspired by Soph Arthur, a scientist and incredible science communicator, to share remarks that I have personally received as a woman pursuing a degree and a career in science. You can read her original blog post about bias, role models, and collaboration in the women in STEM community HERE.
In a stereotypically male-dominated field, many women are put off of continuing a STEM career because they are not taken seriously and receive comments, whether ill-intentioned or not, like the one below. This is usually accompanied with the comment that women in science receive most often: “You don’t look like a scientist.”
These types of biased comments are the reason I felt compelled to start showing up on social media as myself- a blonde, fashionable, sociable, friendly scientist. Scientists are incredibly diverse and most of us do not fit the old white male stereotype. When I was younger, I knew of very few women in STEM careers, and I want to change this for future generations. Since I started sharing more of my life as a scientist on social media in the last year, I have been overwhelmed with positive comments like the ones below.
I’ve been reflecting on all of the amazing women that I’ve met in person and via social media this past year. I am incredibly blessed to know and be constantly inspired/encouraged/loved by talented, strong, intelligent, beautiful, ambitious women who are also passionate about STEM. I can only imagine what it would have been like to know women like this existed when I was a little girl, to see physical evidence that I could grow up and still keep my pretty pearls and dresses while becoming an astrophysicist or a brain researcher or an environmental scientist. I am hopeful that our younger generations of girls will discover role models like my dear friends, peers, and colleagues. We truly are stronger together.