Women Inspiring Innovation Through Imagination: Celebrating Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)

Post written by CHC member Jenny Carson

Jenny serves at the American Cancer Society Colorectal Cancer Screening Navigator and Health Educator 

In addition to daily service at their host sites, several Chicago Health Corps members have the privilege of mentoring young girls interested in science, technology, engineering and math(STEM) through a local Chicago non-profit, Girls 4 Science.  Girls 4 Science is Chicago’s only all girls' science initiative, partnering with Chicago’s City Colleges on Saturdays to inspire young girls ages 10-18.  As a mentor in the Girls 4 Science program, I have learned first-hand just how important it is to promote STEM among urban youth and get young girls excited about STEM careers. In addition to the efforts of Girls 4 Science, this past March’s National Women’s History Month was dedicated to honoring the contributions of women in STEM fields, inspiring young girls to join the STEM workforce.
 
Members of the Chicago Health Corps at the Girls 4 Science 
Women History Month Recognition Reception.
 
Women’s National History Month 2013
 
Women’s National History Month began in 1978, as more than 100 women gathered in Santa Rosa, California to celebrate women and the contributions they have made in world history.The movement grew, and in 1988, the U.S. Congress officially designated March as Women’s History month.

 

 

 

This past March, we recognized the accomplishments of extraordinary women such as Patricia Era Bath (1942), whose invention of the Laserphaco Probe was an important milestone in laser cataract surgery; Rita R. Colwell (1934), the first woman director of the National Science Foundation; Susan A. Gerbi (1944), a molecular cell biologist whose research was significant in understanding the role of hormones in certain cancers; and Flossie Wong-Staal (1946), a virologist and molecular biologist whose work made it possible to develop HIV screening tests.
 
“Among the initiatives of this administration to advance gender equality, are efforts to bring more women into science and health care professions. Women who hold STEM degrees and jobs earn 30 percent more on average than women in non-STEM jobs”.Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius
 
Currently in the United States, only 25% of the STEM workforce is women. However, the future of women in STEM looks bright and is growing! According to the White House Council on Women and Girls, a record number of women are entering the STEM workforce, the number of female faculty at major science research universities is at an all-time high, and more girls in the United States are reporting they seek a career in science than boys their age. A brilliant example of women entering the STEM workforce are our very own Chicago Health Corps service members. Many of the wonderful women in the corps are pursuing careers as doctors, nurses, physician assistants, public health officials, and many other promising careers promoting the future health of our country. 
 
To learn more about Women’s History month:
March 10thwas National Women and HIV/AIDS Awareness Day