Hint: It isn’t in the kitchen for these ladies!
Women have always known our rightful place in society. We’ve known it since the dawn of time. Can’t blame us if everyone else needed a moment (ages!) to catch up. But no matter how long it’s taken, at least the movement for common sense (as I like to call it), has finally begun. A hundred years after the first International Women’s Day in 1908, we are seeing women rise to the top as CEOs, board directors, chief executives; in politics, the workforce, the arts, entertainment, and education. Even cross-country truck driving is something women are a boss at doing today!
But for all our achievements, one last frontier still remains very much a boys’ club. And I mean the treehouse, “girls are gross,” Calvin & Hobbesque boys’ club with lingering notions about whether or not women are smart enough, awesome enough, or capable enough to handle the work. (Spoiler alert: We are.)
I’m talking about the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths, or STEM for short. Despite all the evidence to the contrary, many men in STEM fields still assume women can’t keep up with the complexities of a STEM-related job. As if Marie Curie sacrificing herself in the pursuit of science wasn’t enough, here are five incredible women in science and technology to prove we lady-folk do got what it takes.
She’s rewriting medicine: Nina Tandon
CEO & co-founder of Epibone, “the world’s first company to grow living bones for skeletal reconstruction”
Nina Tandon shook the world of medicine with her breakthrough research in stem cells. Through her Epibone process, Tandon can create customized bones for patients in need of severe bone repair. Instead of painful and dangerous bone grafting surgery, the Epibone process grows bones out of your own stem cells. Bones can be customized to the exact shape and size needed for a perfect fit. And because they’re made from a patient’s own stem cells, the likelihood of the body rejecting the new bone are far less likely compared to donated bone or synthetic materials.
She’s challenging time: Cynthia Kenyon
Vice President of Aging Research at Calico (of Google Inc.)
Cynthia Kenyon dreams of making humans live longer—100 years longer! After a lab experiment gone right in 1993, geneticist Cynthia Kenyon and her team discovered that partially disabling the daf 2 gene in round worms made the critters live twice as long! Ever since then, Kenyon has studied its effects on fruit flies and mice, all with similarly youthful results. Today, Kenyon leads a team of scientists at Calico, Inc., Google’s biotechnology arm. Together, they delve into the daf 2 gene’s potential for preventing age-related diseases like Alzheimer’s. Kenyon might even discover a way to slow down aging itself!
She’s fighting poverty: Ann Mei Chang
Google engineer and the first Executive Director of the US Global Development Lab
One of the secrets to Google’s unparalleled success is tech engineer Ann Mei Chang. During Chang’s stint as Senior Engineering Director, the tech giant grew to $1billion in revenue in three years with mobile apps like Gmail, Youtube and Google Maps. And as if that wasn’t enough, Anne Mei Chang also made the LGBTQ science and tech community proud when she became the Chief Innovation Officer for USAID and the first Executive Director of the US Global Development Lab. Here, Chang and her team made strides to end poverty around the world through science and tech solutions.
She’s shaping the future: Rebecca Garcia
Co-founder of non-profit CoderDojo NYC
Featured in Glamour’s 30 Under 30 list of women changing the tech industry, part Filipino Rebecca Garcia is an old hand at changing the world through coding. Her work with CoderDojo NYC empowers marginalized youths aged 7 to 17 to learn coding skills through a step-by-step mentorship program. Together, boys and girls learn the basics of web, game, and app development. It didn’t take long until Rebecca Garcia’s work in coding, community development and education caught the public’s eye. At age 23, Garcia became the youngest person ever to be recognized as a White House Champion of Change for Tech Inclusion.
She’s changing business: Charu Sharma
CEO of award-winning AI company NextPlay.ai
Join our 30-min virtual conversation on "Careers" this Wed with @dnf, VP Engineering at @classpass. Previously, Don was CTO @Medium & Chief Architect @Twitter #careergrowth, #engineeringleadership #nextplaymentoring @nextplayinc
RSVP here: https://t.co/TCRhK6rpv8
— Charu Sharma (@charu1603) March 19, 2019
Reading Charu Sharma’s LinkedIn profile is like reading a playbook on how to be awesome. A rising star since her college dorm room days, Sharma has built two award-winning tech start-ups, explored all 7 continents and started “Go Against The Flow,” a global movement aiming to help 1 million women start their own businesses. Today, Sharma’s company, Nextplay.ai, uses AI software to help companies like Coca-Cola and Lyft create in-house mentorship and networking programs for their employees. By tapping into each person’s potential to teach and share knowledge, Sharma’s innovative AI software is helping create healthier work environments for everyone. Plus, Sharma is literally a national hero with a National Bravery Award from India. In 2003, Charu Sharma and her brother used their taekwondo skills to fight off train thieves, rescuing the passengers in the process. No wonder one publication called Sharma a Power Woman the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Melinda Gates!
Words Sara Dumaup
Art Isabella Canlas