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Let's talk about how women have been making significant contributions to STEM fields. For many years, women have been breaking barriers and pushing boundaries in fields that have traditionally been dominated by men, including science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). From Mary Anning to Mae Jemison, there have been many amazing women who have made significant contributions to their fields.
According to Forbes, women have made impressive gains in STEM over the past decade. Women now earn 50% of bachelor's degrees in biological and agricultural sciences, 44% of bachelor's degrees in mathematics and statistics, and 35% of bachelor's degrees in physical sciences and engineering. However, women are still underrepresented in certain STEM fields. For example, women only earn 20% of bachelor's degrees in computer science and 18% of degrees in engineering, which limits their representation in leadership roles and high-paying jobs in these fields.
One of the biggest challenges that women face in STEM is the lack of role models and mentors. Women in STEM, particularly those from underrepresented groups, often feel unsupported and isolated. Role models and mentors can provide critical support to women and encourage them to succeed in STEM fields. Unfortunately, women in STEM also face bias and discrimination, with research showing that they are more likely to experience gender-based discrimination and harassment than women in other fields.
It's worth noting that women have been making contributions to STEM fields for centuries, even in the face of significant obstacles. Mary Anning, a self-taught paleontologist in 19th-century England, is an excellent example of a woman who made significant contributions to science despite societal and institutional barriers. Anning's discoveries of dinosaur fossils in the cliffs of Dorset were critical to the development of the field of paleontology. She overcame significant challenges as a woman in a male-dominated field and as someone from a working-class background. Her legacy continues to inspire and encourage women to pursue careers in STEM fields.
Other amazing women in STEM include Katherine Johnson, a mathematician who calculated trajectories for NASA space missions; Ada Lovelace, regarded as the world's first computer programmer; Marie Curie, a physicist and chemist who discovered two new elements and was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize; Grace Hopper, a computer scientist who invented the first compiler; Mae Jemison, an astronaut and physician who became the first African American woman to travel to space; and Chien-Shiung Wu, a physicist who made significant contributions to the Manhattan Project and was known as the "First Lady of Physics" for her groundbreaking work on beta decay.
These women and many others have broken down barriers and paved the way for future generations of women in STEM. They are remarkable role models for aspiring scientists, engineers, and mathematicians, and they demonstrate that hard work and determination can overcome obstacles and achieve great things.
In addition to celebrating the incredible achievements of women in STEM, it's important to honor their legacy and inspire future generations to pursue their passions. One way to do this is by featuring women scientists in popular culture and educational materials.
To that end, we've created a new comic book, Time Travel adventures of Gino & Gina, as part of a new product Master Engineers subscription box for ages 9-12, which features Mary Anning as a key character.
This innovative approach to STEM education can help spark an interest in science among young girls and boys alike, while also acknowledging the contributions of trailblazing women like Mary Anning.
Sources: Women In STEM: Voices From Around The World (forbes.com) & Women Achieve Gains In STEM Fields (forbes.com)