Celebrate International Day of Women and Girls in Science With Us!

International Day of Women and Girls in Science

Spread all the love for #WomenInScience today

The year was 2015, and things were looking up: The United States, Ireland, and Mexico legalized same-sex marriage. The US Women’s Soccer Team won the World Cup. Adele sold 3 million copies of 25 in one week (not to mention, we got new Adele). Justin Trudeau was sworn in as Canadian Prime Minister and installed a gender-equal cabinet “because it’s 2015.” 195 countries signed the Paris Climate Change Agreement. The Force Awakens was released, and it was so awesome that I cried (don’t @ me). Tu Youyou won the Nobel Prize in Medicine.

And on December 22, the UN General Assembly established February 11 of each year to be the International Day of Women and Girls in Science.

 

Gender Inequality

Marking the third commemoration of the event, the Director-General of UNESCO Audrey Azoulay and Executive Director of UN Women Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka released a joint statement on Wednesday sharing insights into the continued gap in gender parity in STEM fields:

“One of the main tools for tackling gender inequality in the sciences is dismantling the barriers to girls and women, at home, in the classroom, and in the workplace. This requires a change in attitudes and the challenging of stereotypes. We need to tackle biased perceptions amongst teachers, employers, peers and parents of the suitability of girls and young women to learn science – or learn at all – to pursue scientific careers or to lead and manage in academic spheres.”

The statement also highlighted initiatives that are combating the gap. The Unstereotype Alliance, announced by UN Women in June, focuses on stamping out old stereotypes that limit the roles of women and impede advancement. For its part, UNESCO continues its decades-long partnership with the L’Oreal Foundation to encourage women through the Women in Science Awards and recently launched For Women in Science, a Manifesto in service of their goal to increase the number of women in science.

This International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we’re celebrating the mentors who support, nurture, and inspire us, starting with the neuroscientist who started it all for us at Shenova: Dr. Erica Warp.

 

STEMSTAR: Dr. Erica Warp

Dr. Warp’s commission for an educational and fashionable Neuron Retina dress for her Ph.D. graduation from UC Berkeley sparked Holly’s curiosity, and soon she developed an entire series of STEM dresses. It wasn’t just the unique subject matter that was so inspiring, however, but also the scope and range of Erica’s talent and intellect. Scientist? Check. Researcher? Check. Artist? Check. Educator? Check. Gallery co-founder? Check. Entrepreneur? Check. Mother? Check. Rockstar? Check, check, and check.

Read more about the first Neuron Retina Dress 

 

After completing her studies in biology and receiving her B.S from Brown University, the native San Francisco resident went on to obtain her Masters and Ph.D. in Neuroscience from King’s College London and UC Berkeley, respectively. When she found the time to study art at the Rhode Island School of Design and Goldsmiths College is anyone’s guess, but she did that, too. To exhibit on two continents and co-found a gallery would be a full cv in itself, but Erica did those things on top of her research to develop therapies for diseases and disorders of complex nervous systems. It’s no wonder that she ignited Holly’s passion for highlighting the amazing women working in STEM and became our very first #STEMStar!

It’s women like Dr. Erica Warp who motivate and inspire us and, when growth seems impossible, remind us instead that it’s inevitable. 2015 was a veritable embarrassment of riches. Over the past three years, progress has lost its footing in ways that were well-nigh unimaginable back when we were all belting out Hello in the shower every morning. While 2016-2018 haven’t been easy, they’ve proved time and again that while progress may be stalled, it won’t be stopped. Or, to put it in the language of 2015: Females are strong as hell.

 

We want to hear from you!

Who are the women in science who have amazed and supported you? Who paved the way for you, mentored you, or inspired you? Do you know someone we should feature in a future STEM Stars post?

We want to hear their stories and the impact they had on you. Let us know in the comments or on Twitter and tag it with #STEMStars. Let’s celebrate the women who made us who we are.

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More ways to celebrate

 




Melissa DeVrieze
Melissa DeVrieze

Author

Melissa DeVrieze Meyer is a writer and editor based in New Jersey where she lives with her partner, two sons, and almost enough dogs. You can find her on twitter at @meldevrieze or behind the telescope in her backyard.



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