So there’s always a lot of talk about getting more women into science. And as a woman in science, I agree. I’m in a group of about twenty-five interns and three of us are women. That’s ridiculous. I mean, I’m a physics major and not a math major, but I still know that’s nowhere near fifty percent.
The one thing that I think that I didn’t realize until I got a job a major research laboratory is that there are a lot of women in science already. I feel like women in STEM is always talked about like there are no women at all, while in reality, they’re all over the place at the lab. A lot of them became scientists way before there was an initiative to push women towards science and some even before women were widely accepted in scientific fields. Working there, I’m working with trailblazers, with glass-shatterers. And it’s awesome.
But they’re still only twenty-two percent of the scientists that work at the lab.
So there’s still work to be done. I remain one of the few women in most of my physics classes at school, one of the few women in most of the meeting and briefings I attend, the programs I’m in, and the career field that I want to go into. We need to continue to show young women that science is an option, that other women have done it before them and that they can do it too. Women in science – they’re out there. I had my mom, an electrical engineer, to encourage me to go into science, but other girls aren’t lucky enough to have an example of a woman in STEM so close by. We need current female scientists to be role models for the next generation of women going into science. Their generation didn’t reach gender equality in STEM. My generation won’t either. But the next generation might, or the generation after. So we have to do what we can to pass on this legacy and to inspire the next generation.