March was Women’s History Month, but we all know 31 days isn’t enough time to celebrate the accomplishments of any group. Not even one that’s underrepresented, like women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics jobs. Allow us to introduce you to three women who not only excel in STEM fields but advocate for science, technology, engineering and mathematics year-round too.
Dr. Mae Jemison
What Dr. Mae Jemison has done in the world of science and engineering is out of this world (pardon our pun). She earned a BS in chemical engineering from Stanford University and a doctorate in medicine from Cornell. She later became a NASA astronaut and then the first woman of color in space in 1992. She spent more than 190 hours in her historic first space flight as a NASA astronaut and has been a physician, scientist, explorer and engineer. Jemison created the Dorothy Jemison Foundation for Excellence (named after her mother) to attract students to science education. The Earth We Share, the foundation’s signature program, is an international science camp that also promotes science education.
Ellen Kullman began her career at DuPont as a marketing manager and has been the chemical company’s CEO since 2009. Kullman, who earned a degree in mechanical engineering from Tufts University, has doubled DuPont’s business portfolios and began two other successful DuPont businesses as its leader. Kullman knows the importance of getting students interested in STEM: She’s a board member for Change the Equation, an initiative that strives to improve STEM learning in American schools.
Remember Winnie Cooper from The Wonder Years? How about Elsie Snuffin from The West Wing? Abby from The Big Bang Theory? Danica McKellar played all these characters, and today she’s one of the most active advocates for math education. McKellar graduated summa cum laude from UCLA with a degree in mathematics and went on to co-author a mathematical proof known as The Chayes-McKellar-Winn Theorem. She’s written two New York Times best-sellers inspiring girls to consider math and once addressed Congress about the significance of women in mathematics. She frequently discusses that same subject at science and technology conventions across the country.
Each of these three women are commendable for excelling in fields where women are underrepresented. But they go even further by advocating for these fields, hopefully inspiring young girls to excel in them just as they do.