A Slice of AnnyWorld:
When it comes to Pluto I’m biased. I grew up with Pluto being a planet, and dammit,
I refuse to believe otherwise.
Unfortunately, I also grew up biased against pursing a career in #STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). STEM is a boy’s game, I was told. You shouldn’t bother to play. I assumed girls today were being given a different message. I was wrong.
In 2012 the National Academy of Sciences published research showing that BOTH female and male faculty rated male applicants as significantly more competent and hireable than the (identical) female applicant. In addition, the boys got higher starting salaries and were offered mentoring opportunities not given to the girls.
What bothers me most about these findings is that the women faculty members were just as prejudiced against their own kind as the men.
It’s time we girls throw off the silly notion that we aren’t as good at science as the guys, and encourage our girls to storm labs all over the country. How can we expect the boys to accept us if we don’t accept and encourage ourselves?
All we have to do is follow our leader–NASA.
Yes, NASA. According to NASA, women make up 25% of Pluto’s New Horizon’s team–and many of them are in leadership roles. It’s not equal yet, but it’s the highest number of women on a NASA project in history. (In 2013 the total number of U.S. female astronomers and physicists was only 11.8%)
I’m ecstatic that PLANET PLUTO is finally getting its 15 minutes of fame courtesy of lots of us gals!
However, Pluto’s women don’t focus on their numbers. Rather, they yearn for the day when gender equality in the sciences is no big deal. “Girls will be inspired to be scientists and boys will grow up to be ‘gender blind,’ seeing women in science as the norm,” says Deputy Project Scientist Leslie Young.
I want to honor New Horizon’s women by continuing to encourage girls in AnnyWorld to follow their dreams wherever they lead, including Pluto and beyond. (Madu’s thinking about becoming a NASA scientist or astronaut. She’s also open to designing their spacesuits too.)
How do you respond when your daughter, or niece, or female student etc. talks to you about math or science?
Posted in EmpowerGirlsOfAllAges, Thinking Outside The Box by anny with 4 comments.