White House Escorting Women back to Science and Technology
Obama’s office has presumably added another precursor to a historic breakthrough, by adding another page to the official White House website. Hit the website, and you’ll notice an interesting new addition- an extensive page called Women in STEM.
The page is titled “The untold stories of women in science and technology” and rightly so, because somewhere, the contribution of women to this field got lost in the pages of patriarchally construed history. Not all women won Nobel Prizes, but their contribution wasn’t any less crucial. “There are millions more untold stories of women who have broken down barriers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math — and accounting for the rich history of women’s contributions in these fields is going to take all of us telling them. Maybe it’s a former teacher. Maybe it’s your grandmother. Maybe it’s you,” reads the page.
Women are no strangers to the field of science and technology. In fact, women were close to dominating the arena of computing in the 1950s, before their sudden disappearance. Studies have attributed this to marketing, and the Obama government wishes to use this very tool to now bring women back to the field.
“One of the things that I really strongly believe in is that we need to have more girls interested in math, science, and engineering. We’ve got half the population that is way underrepresented in those fields and that means that we’ve got a whole bunch of talent…not being encouraged the way they need to,” shares Obama in a quote that appeared on the White House website in February 2013.
An article on CNET reports the details of its execution. The women in STEM in the White House Administration, the likes of US Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith, NASA Chief Scientist Dr Ellen Stofan, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and White House OSTP Associate Director for Science Jo Handelsman, are at the forefront of this initiative.
The website has embedded one minute-long stories of all the greats that have contributed towards pathbreaking discoveries and inventions, in the voices of the women mentioned above. It also invites all the other women in STEM to come forth and share their own stories.
“They were leaders in building the early foundation of modern programming and unveiled the structure of DNA. Their work inspired environmental movements and led to the discovery of new genes. They broke the sound barrier — and gender barriers along the way,” the website reads. “And inspiring more young women to pursue careers in science starts with simply sharing their stories.”
This page is yet another effort towards diminishing the unexplained mutual aversion that women and this field have towards each other. Here’s hoping it receives the limelight it deserves, in order to break the barrier.
Original Source: CNET.com
[Feature Picture Courtesy: Fortune]