Women in STEM News

“If women and girls don’t see themselves on screen as STEM professionals, they’re less likely to pursue those career paths.”

-Geena Davis

Here's the latest on the Women in STEM.

March 03, 2020

5 Facts About Marie Curie and the Winningest Nobel Prize Family in History

When Marie Curie and her husband Pierre won the Nobel Prize for physics in 1903, their older daughter Irène was just 6 years old. Little could they have imagined that not only would Marie go on to win a second Nobel in chemistry in 1911 — the first person ever to receive the prize twice — but Irène and her husband, Frédéric Joliot, would take home their own Nobel in chemistry in 1936. And in 1965, their younger daughter Ève’s husband, Henry Labouisse, would accept the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of UNICEF, the humanitarian organization he ran. Here’s what you need to know about this family, which holds more Nobel Prizes than any other. Read More…

February 28, 2020

Remembering Vietnam’s Tech Queen And What She Taught Us

Thuy Thanh Truong was one of the most fearless people I have ever met. Beyond being an incredibly badass female tech entrepreneur who starred in a documentary about female founders, called She Started It, she also dabbled in entertainment, directing films and producing reality shows. In 2016 at age thirty-one, Thuy was diagnosed with terminal genetic lung cancer while shooting a movie in Vietnam. In the years following, Thuy bravely fought her disease while continuing to work and stay as active as possible. But she changed her focus away from building software companies to advancing the treatment options and quality of life for cancer patients everywhere, especially in her home country of Vietnam. Read More…

February 28, 2020

Black History Month: Highlighting African American Engineers Pt. 4

In celebration of Black History Month, SWE will be highlighting African American women engineers and entrepreneurs in a series of blog posts. Meet and learn more about two SWEsters in the African American Affinity Group: Bralade Koroye- Emenanjo (SWE African American Affinity Group Lead and Technical Service & Development Engineer with Dow, Inc) and DaNae’ Winston (Systems Development Engineer at Dell Technologies). Read More…

February 19, 2020

How Mareena Robinson Snowden is paving the way for women in STEM

Mareena Robinson Snowden made headlines in 2017 when she became the first black woman to earn a Ph.D. in nuclear engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Since then, she’s worked to pave a pathway for more women and minorities to follow in her footsteps. “I think it’s tremendously important to have this diversity of voices, not just from a cultural perspective or from a gender perspective, but just lived experience,” Snowden told Know Your Value. “…There is blood and treasure on the line with respect with the decisions that [nuclear engineers] make, and we’re actually sending people out to fight wars if things go wrong.” Read More…

February 19, 2020

The computer pioneer who built modern China

In April 1960, China’s first home-grown electronic digital general purpose computer – the Model 107 – went live. Xia Peisu, the machine’s engineer and designer, had just made history. After decades of war with Japan and the Chinese Civil War in the first half of the 20th Century, the country’s technological innovation had fallen behind much of the developed world. Later, caught in the politics of the Cold War, the newly established People’s Republic of China was cut off from aid and exports from capitalist nations in the West. Chinese scientists relied heavily on hardware and expertise from the Soviet Union to build up their computing power. Read More…

December 21, 2019

In 2019, women helped redefine everything we know about space

Here’s to the Katherine Johnsons, the Valentina Tereshkovas, the Nancy Romans, the Sally Rides, the Mae Jemisons. NASA astronauts Christine Koch and Jessica Meir stand with you. The Artemis program and ESA’s Mars rover stand with you. This year has been a tribute to and celebration of women and their ever-expanding roles in space exploration. Female scientists and their contributions have long been marginalized. See Hidden Figures, the story of three black women who worked as “human computers” at NASA, for a crash course on how this veiled history is still coming to light. The accomplishments of women in space in 2019 is helping to correct the course of this narrative. Read More…

November 07, 2019

Meet Pae Natwilai, The Under 30 Honoree Changing The Game For Drone Data

While growing up in Thailand, Pae Natwilai’s top priorities in selecting a career were good work-life balance and a decent salary. As was customary in Thai culture, she was encouraged to specialize in one field early on rather than pursuing a multidisciplinary education. Having excelled at science and mathematics as a child, she decided to become an engineer, although she was not yet sure what she wanted to build. Read More…

November 06, 2019

The women who cracked science’s glass ceiling

Scientific career opportunities saw a boost during the First World War as a result of the realignment of science to the military. For the first time, scientists worked on problems ranging from aviation and submarine detection to chemical warfare. After the war, this expansion continued, particularly in industry. Biochemist Kathleen Culhane Lathbury was one female scientist who benefited from that. During the 1920s and early 1930s, she worked for British Drug Houses, one of the leading pharmaceutical firms in the United Kingdom, which I focus on here. In her post, Lathbury oversaw insulin manufacturing. Read More…

November 04, 2019

Meet Maria Sibylla Merian, the naturalist who painted insects in living color

Maria Sibylla Merian was a leader in natural science, an ecologist and an entomologist before those terms existed. Merian looked at the world differently from other naturalists. While men such as Carl Linnaeus worked hard to classify and categorize isolated dead specimens of animals and insects, Merian chose to study them as living creatures. As a result, she witnessed behaviors, changes, and interactions that others could never have seen. Read More…

November 01, 2019

A Young Engineer Steps Into the Light

In high school, Janelle Wellons excelled in her classes, especially math, and quickly climbed to the top of her class. By the spring of her senior year, she had an acceptance letter in hand from her dream school, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. But while that should have been a joyous time, an incident with a high school classmate cast a long shadow. “One of my classmates approached me in front of a group of friends and said, ‘We all know the reason you got accepted into MIT is because you’re black,'” Wellons recalled. “No one standing there said anything, and the fact that no one stood up for me spoke volumes.” Read More…