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Home > Teen Blog > March 2019 > Women in STEM Unleash Their Power
Women in STEM Unleash Their Power
Posted: 3/4/2019 10:00:41 AM

Intrepid Teen Blog

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by Esmeralda M. — GOALS Navigator

For hundreds of years, the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields have been occupied by men. While these men worked, women stayed home and took care of the family and the home. Only recently have women begun to take action to broaden their choices. The start of the women’s rights movement started at the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention in New York. Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, along with other suffragettes, began to fight for the rights of women to join the workforce, vote and so on. Yet, these women were constantly chastised for their beliefs and many backed down while others fought harder. It is now 2019 and women continue to fight for their rights and respect.

Insert Alt Text It is, unfortunately, not uncommon for a woman to be seen as inferior in any workplace, especially STEM-oriented labor. Rosalind Franklin, for example, was a chemist in the early 20th century who did not receive due credit for her work on the discovery of the molecular structure of DNA. In another example, Mae Jemison was told as she was growing up that the idea of a woman becoming an astronaut was completely outrageous. In 1992, she became the first African American woman to travel into space.

I am growing up in an age where women continue fighting for their rights and feminism is being defined. Yet, I still have to endure a lot of unhealthy competition against male counterparts for respect and recognition. In one instance when paired with a male classmate for a science project, questions about the experiment we conducted were directed to him. Having learned from some of my feminist role models, I allowed myself to take charge and take on a leadership role. I became determined to show my peers that my ideas are valid and smart. I decided I should be able to share my ideas without being ignored or underestimated. While my classmates are smart people with great ideas of their own, they became willing to listen to me because I had the courage to express the importance of my words and thoughts, and because I demonstrated that I am really proud of who I am as a person.

“I am growing up in an age where women continue fighting for their rights and feminism is being defined.”
History and my personal experience have shown me that people will discriminate, objectify and undervalue girls and women pursuing the freedom to be who they are. The only way to stop this is to stand up. Taking the small step of expressing your idea is one more step to greater respect, greater opportunities and a greater humanity. Whether it’s wearing whatever you want and making sure no one shames you or taking the microscope and showing people what a real scientist looks like, women can change the world when we realize we are powerful.

Editor’s Note: The Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum hosts educational programs that introduce teenagers to careers in STEM and help them develop lifelong leadership skills. Participants in GOALS for Girls and the Youth Leadership Institute have contributed to the Museum’s Teen Blog with personal essays on a skill or quality they have cultivated at the Intrepid Museum.