You may be wondering what’s the big deal about International Women’s Day, so let’s start with the facts. Women in Geoscience are half as likely to receive excellent recommendation letters than their male colleagues. Science articles disproportionately chose men to review their articles over women. In 2013, Nature pointed out that only a fifth of full professorships are held by women.
To put it plainly, there are a lack of role models in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths sectors which equates to women in STEM not having the support and guidance to look up to someone similar to them. This then trickles down and converts into a lack of females taking these career paths which is why women in STEM should be celebrated and distinguished in the public domain.
Caroline Herschel 1750 – 1848
Caroline Herschel is probably one of the main reasons millennials are so obsessed with astrology today. She was a German astrologer whose contributions to astronomy were discovering several comets. Her brother William became the king’s astrologer and gave Caroline her own telescope, which helped her to make these discoveries. She helped him develop the modern mathematical approach to the science.
Mary Anning 1799 – 1847
Mary Anning was best known for her discoveries along the English Channel at Lyme Regis. Here she made important findings along the Jurassic marine fossil beds and collected and traded fossils. The Natural History Museum has crowned Anning ‘the greatest fossil hunter’, due to the extraordinary findings she made throughout her lifetime.
Maria Mitchell 1818 – 1889
Maria Mitchell was also an astronomer. However, she later went on to open her own school for girls and taught them science and maths. She was also the first female astronomy professor in the USA which was revolutionary for her time.
Mae Jemison 1956 – Present
Mae Jemison was the first black woman to travel in space. On September 12, 1992, she flew into space on the Shuttle Endeavour for mission STS-47. She conducted lots of research throughout her career and was responsible for studies in motion sickness, weightlessness and bone cell formation. She is still alive today and has created the Jemison Group that is an innovation center that uses research and development for daily life.
Temple Grandin 1947- Present
Temple Grandin is a professor, best-selling author, inventor and an activist and spokesperson for autism. She is particularly renowned for her work within the humane treatment of animals when they are led to slaughter. She has spent her life developing stress-free facility designs and standards of humane management. She realised that cattle couldn’t go down steps so instead they went down a cleated ramp to the abattoir and found that when cattle get nervous they walk in circles so designed pens to be circular.
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