Dear Braintune Community,
I’m asked almost every day what it’s like to be a woman in STEM. And to be honest, it’s always hard not to answer, “Lonely.” Do I face sexism in my chosen field? Absolutely. Every day. Do I see other talented, brilliant, and driven women leave the field in droves because they’re denied access to the resources, startup funds, and respect doled out by the handful to less qualified men? You bet. Do I let that stop me?
When I was doing my undergraduate work on mouse neurobiology at Vassar, I formed a group with other aspiring women scientists that we called “Scientress.” We talked about our dream careers, the labs we’d one day run, the groundbreaking discoveries we’d make, the gamechanging experiments we’d set up. Being a part of that community made me feel, for the first time, as though I’d found a home. A place where I could be brilliant and creative and female and no one thought twice about it.
But all of us aren’t lucky enough to have the privilege of that kind of community, if it’s only for the duration of an undergraduate degree. And all of us have to enter the real world at some point. I still keep my eye on the careers of the Scientress women I used to know. None of them have gotten half as far as vastly less qualified men in their fields.
And that’s why I’m committed to supporting and promoting women in science and technology. Because that’s way too much genius to waste. And we shouldn’t have to pull a Remington Steele to get the respect and investment we deserve.
Although, now that I think about it, having Pierce Brosnan around the office wouldn’t be half bad.
Photos via Tech Crunch