I’m writing this with the presidential debates in the background. I won’t get political here, but I will say that as a woman who as a girl didn’t even know that a woman could run for president, it’s pretty darn cool to see a woman on that stage.
I have two sisters. Growing up, it was always a girls’ club. We loved all of the same toys, music, movies, games, you name it. Even though we’re so similar and grew up in the same household, I’m different. I’m the sister with no science gene. None. Zip. Nada. I muddled through science classes in high school, and in college I took geology for my graduation requirement, y’all. Geology. (It’s worth noting that my boss took just about every advanced science class offered at our alma mater, and I took geology.)
My sisters are scientists. Claire just finished her PhD and is a post doc for a lab at Children’s National Hospital in DC. Kate double-majored in Biology and Creative Writing. I’m constantly in awe of these women in science. And though I don’t know what they deal with as women who work in a male-dominated field, I know it’s not always easy. I know people make assumptions about their roles in the lab or their level of knowledge. I know that they’re working subtly, quietly every day to change the roles of women in science.
So, even though I’m not a scientist or even remotely science-minded, I want more women to find a home in STEM fields. I want girls to become science literate and science confident, even if they don’t want to be scientists.
Science: girls do it better. Tell them from the start.