Co-authored by Hannah Wagener and Talei Caucau

Science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM as it’s been commonly referred, have widely been male-dominated industries.

The question as to why this has occurred doesn’t have a simple explanation. Women have long faced systemic academic, social and professional barriers keeping them out of these fields despite their growing relevance and workforce demand.

According to the National Girls Collaborative Project, K-12 female students’ math and science achievements and participation are on par with their male student counterparts. Furthermore, NGC found that women have earned close to 57% of all bachelor’s degrees and over half of all science and engineering bachelor’s degrees.

With all of this education, and diverse avenues of study, women still only make up about 28% the science and engineering workforce. 

While these numbers are staggering, socioeconomic and racial barriers remain the greatest obstacle facing students wanting to enter a field dominated by a 67% white workforce. While enrollment in science and engineering studies has increased, people of color only make up about 11% of the workforce.

That is why, you, young lady can become the greatest innovator ever.

What is your passion? Do you see yourself working on the latest environmentally-friendly car?

Do you have the dream of curing cancer or solving the hunger crisis through STEM? Then you can! You absolutely can.

Women have made, and continue to make, significant contributions to STEM-related fields.

STEM is for you. Think big and think wild and then dare to do.

Change the narrative. You will be standing on the shoulders of women like Katherine Johnson, Marie Curie, Augusta Ada King, Radia Perlman, Irene Au, Barbara McClintock, and so many others.

This world needs you. It needs your ideas and innovation. It needs your plans to take STEM to the next level just like Hedy Lamarr or Grace Hopper.

STEM needs you. As you sit down, envisioning what you want to be, think of these women. Think of how much they have added to the world by simply daring to go into a field society told them they couldn’t or shouldn’t.

The world is waiting for you. We are waiting for you, young lady, go and conquer the world using STEM.

6 Awesome Activities to Celebrate National Chemistry Week

6 Awesome Activities to Celebrate National Chemistry Week