Who are your female STEM role models?
By Betsy Mikel (Editor, Women 2.0)
Happy Ada Lovelace Day! Today we’re celebrating the achievements of women in STEM around the world. What female technologists do you admire? Today’s the day to shed light on their accomplishments and make sure the world knows about the amazing work they do.
We love this holiday because it aligns so closely with our core values at Women 2.0. The mission of Ada Lovelace Day is to encourage more women to pursue science, tech, engineering and math by showcasing the successes of people who look like them.
“Outstanding women can function as inspirational examples of success, illustrating the kinds of achievements that are possible for women around them,” said psychologist Penelope Lockwood in a study about the effectiveness of role models. “They demonstrate that it is possible to overcome traditional gender barriers, indicating to other women that high levels of success are indeed attainable.”
We don’t deny that women have far to go to achieve parity with men in STEM careers and board rooms around the world. But we do not believe that focusing on negative numbers is an actionable way to help get us there. In fact, too much attention on tech’s low gender diversity numbers may discourage young women from joining these fields and sticking around.
Instead, let’s not focus on what’s wrong with tech, but with what’s right. Women who run billion-dollar companies. Female investors. Bad-ass female CTOs. Women technologists of color. Or $1.5B acquisitions from 60-year-old founders.
Let’s celebrate the STEM women who look different than their colleagues. So look around — you don’t have to dig deep to find them because talented women in the field are truly everywhere. Then speak up! In honor of Ada Lovelace Day, tell everyone you know about an innovative founder, a forward-thinking angel investor or insanely smart developer who in her own way is making the world a better place and more welcoming to all.
Photo by BRICK 101 via Flickr.
About the author: Betsy Mikel is the managing editor of Women 2.0 and runs the content consultancy Aveck. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and a lifelong obsession with French language and culture. When she’s not biking all over every city she visits to find its best taqueria, you can find Betsy on Twitter at @betsym.