- Silicon Valley, a new comedy on HBO, depicts life in a new tech start-up. Unfortunately, there are almost no female programmers in the show, which (even more unfortunately) many women saw is a realistic depiction. MTV news interviewed real women in tech to see what they think of the show, here.
- Silicon Valley is not the only place where women are not represented in STEM - it is really a global issue. Rojina Bajracharya, a 24-year old from Kathmandu, Nepal, cofounded Girls in Technology to help women in Kathmandu learn more about opportunities in tech. Check out this feature on Bajracharya and other amazing ladies changing tech in Nepal.
- The U.S. Department of Education recently tested eighth graders to gage their literacy in technology and engineering. The results? Girls scored three points higher than the male students on the test. These results show that if girls are taught engineering and technology when their young, they can succeed in the field and be encouraged to pursue STEM before the gender bias sets in.
- Speaking of gender bias, Girls Who Code just launched a hilarious campaign to fight the stigma against female coders. The videos show young girls explaining that they can’t code because they’re too pretty or because their cleavage distracts them. They are really funny and clever, and just like they say at the end of each video, “Girls do code. Every other theory is ridiculous.”
- Author Eileen Pollack was not allowed to enroll in her high school’s advanced science and math courses, so she taught herself calculus. Talk about bad ass! She was also one of the first two women to graduate Yale with a bachelor’s degree in physics in 1978. She talks here how she wasn’t encouraged to pursue further graduate studies in physics, and how this lack of encouragement for women still hasn’t changed.
Check out these articles about some rad women in STEM!
- Check out an amazing interview with Janna Levin, an astrophysicist and writer who fuses art and science together. When she wrote her first book as a postdoc, she was told not too - because no one would take her seriously as a scientist.
- Dr. Kathy Magliato is one of the fewer than 5% of cardiothoracic surgeons that are women. In this interview in Lenny Letter, she explains how she got into medicine because she ‘loves science’ and talks about what it’s like to be a women in such a ruthless field.
- Emmanuelle Charpentier is a STEM lady whose name you should know: she is one of the scientists who discovered Crispr, the gene editing technique that is starting a revolution. She talks here about how hard it was starting out in science as a women, and what she is up to now.
- Before the invention of the computer, the term computer referred to someone (usually women) who computed all the calculations by hand. For the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in the 1950s, all the computers were women, and their contribution helped make the first rocket launches possible. It’s an amazing and unfortunately unknown story, but you can read more about the contribution of these women here.
- Speaking of rockets, NASA has been redesigning it’s spacesuits for its new mission. This time, the suits are being designed with women’s bodies in mind since half of NASA astronaut trainees are women. They are also being designed by a woman, Lindsay Aitchison. As the article says, “One small step for a woman, one giant leap for womankind.”
Bonus this week
- You should check a new web series called ‘The Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers’, especially this one about Jessica Cail, an experimental neuropsychologist and a stuntwoman proficient in bull-whip (so cool!!)
Have a great week!
Melissa Bendayan is a Masters student in Experimental Medicine at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. She is studying the effect of muscle mass on the pharmacokinetics of anticoagulants in frail older adults. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Physiology, also from McGill. She enjoys muay thai, reading books before they become movies, watching a lot of bad TV and is addicted to coffee.