International Day of Women and Girls in Science on February 11 allows us to honor women’s significant achievements in science and place a much-needed focus on girls entering Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) careers. As the fastest-growing segment of jobs with employers finding it hard to find available talent, STEM needs women. Have some fun today by learning about women charting their course as techie trailblazers and by supporting young women to pursue their passions in STEM with finding them scholarships based on STEM studies only for women.
History of International Day of Women and Girls in Science
A significant gender gap in science has persisted at all levels of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines throughout history. Though progress has been made in the previous decades, women are still underrepresented in science disciplines. The United Nations considers gender a core issue behind the significant underrepresentation, mainly because gender equality and women’s empowerment can make a crucial contribution to the world’s economic development. It also contributes to progress across all the goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
In 2013, the General Assembly adopted a resolution on science, technology, and innovation for development. It recognized that equal access to and participation in science, technology, and innovation for women and girls of all ages was essential for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.
Founded by the UN General Assembly in 2015, the International Day of Women and Girls in Science is celebrated in the United States to encourage gender equality and ensure equal access and participation for women and girls in science. Science and gender equality are important factors that allow us to achieve internationally agreed development goals. The global community has significantly inspired and engaged women and girls in science over the past few decades. There is still a lack of participation from women and girls in science, but the road is getting ever so well-trodden.
International Day of Women and Girls in Science timeline
Merit-Ptah had the words "chief physician" inscribed on her tomb
Elizabeth Bragg was the first woman to earn a bachelor’s degree in engineering; graduating from the University of California at Berkeley
Physicist Marie Curie becomes the first women to win Nobel Prize
Women in the US (finally) make up a full 1% of those graduating with degrees in engineering
About 37% of women in university choose computer science as their major.
About 20% of women take the Advanced Placement Computer Science test.
Approximately 2.5 million women work in the tech industry.
International Day of Women and Girls in Science FAQs
What is there a gender stereotype in science?
STEM is often viewed as masculine, causing teachers and parents to underestimate girls’ math or science abilities.
Are there female role models?
There are many women in STEM careers such as Margaret Hamilton, Pamela Melroy, Annie Easley, etc.
Why do girls not choose STEM careers?
According to a study conducted by Microsoft, most girls (72%) believe it is important to have a career that directly helps the world; only 37% believe STEM careers would allow them to do that.
What is the fastest-growing tech job?
Software and web developers make up the largest category of tech jobs in America with over 300,000 jobs added each year.
How much do STEM careers pay?
Jobs in technology pay, on average, almost twice as much as the national average salary.
How to Celebrate
Learn about women’s contributions to science
It is fascinating to learn about the many female trailblazers who have contributed to our society through science. Search for online resources, books, and movies that tell their stories. Share what you learn and honor these women through social media.
Encourage a girl to seek her academic passion
Do you have a daughter or know a young girl interested in science? Encourage her to stick with it! Too often, girls veer from their passions and are not supported to take the road less traveled. If you are not familiar with the latest STEM career options, find a friend who could explain them to her and provide mentorship in her journey.
Make a donation
You can donate in the form of a scholarship to help women and girls study science. The scholarship or donation will help them get access to better education.
5 Women In Science You Should Know
From Hidden Figures fame, Johnson was a mathematician calculating orbital mechanics for NASA and was critical to the first crewed spaceflight.
Considered to be the first industrial/organizational psychologist and “America’s first lady of engineering”, Gilbreth was also one of the first American female engineers to earn a Ph.D. and the first female engineering professor at Purdue University.
Ruth Benerito was an American chemist and inventor who held 55 patents; her most notable invention was wash and wear cotton fabrics.
During her career with General Electric in the 1920s, Clarke became the first American woman professionally employed as an electrical engineer as well as the first female electrical engineering professor in the country.
Carson’s book, Silent Spring, brought attention to the use of pesticides in America which led to changes in our pesticide policies and, through enhanced conservationism, ultimately led to the creation of the US Environmental Protection Agency.
Why We Love
It promotes gender equality in Science
Not only do girls need to become comfortable being in STEM programs, but boys also need to be comfortable having them there. Y4X is a global initiative to promote gender equality in science by helping young boys and men respect and recognize their female counterparts as well as to seek women in science as their mentors and role models.
It celebrates the trendsetters
Today is a time to honor, appreciate, and share in the successes of women in science who have gone before us making significant contributions worldwide.
It encourages technological development
International Day of Women and Girls in Science allows more women to be innovative and achieve developments in science and technology. The greater the number of women who enter the field, the more technological advancements will be made.
International Day of Women and Girls in Science dates