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Here at FutureHY we see the importance in teaching young women about STEM subjects and the amazing careers they can lead to. Since today is International Women and Girls in Science Day, we thought we would make a list of our favourite Women in STEM, past and present! How many of these women have you heard of? We hope you are inspired by their stories!

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Lucy Bradshaw

After finishing studying Psychology at the University of Michigan, Lucy started working at LucasArts on video game production, then working for Activision. She was then Senior Vice President at Maxis, which works on the development of games such as The Sims, and in 2010 she was named as one of the most influential women in technology. Bradshaw now works for Facebook in the Social VR team.

 

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Reshma Saujani

Reshma is the founder of the tech organisation Girls Who Code. She came up with the idea during her run for United States Congress in 2012, when she noticed that schools along her campaign route lacked girls in computer science classrooms. Girls Who Code run programmes during he academic year, teaching young women about programming, robotics and web design, alongside trips to companies such as Facebook and Twitter. Since the launch, Reshma has been recognised for “her vision and efforts to close the gender gap in technology.” Here is a great quote from her:

“I have seen girls tackle every single big problem from cancer to lead poisoning to climate change to homelessness to bullying in school. There is literally no problem that we can’t solve.”

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Ada Lovelace

In 1843, Ada Lovelace published the worlds first computer program. She created the program to be used on inventor Charles Babbage’s general purpose computing machine, the “Analytical Engine”.

She was the first to see the machines potential and predicted it could be used to potentially create art and music.

 

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Dorothy Hodgkin

Originally born in Cairo, Dorothy spent her childhood in Norfolk and Suffolk, where she fought to be allowed to study chemistry along with the boys at her school in the 1920s. She went on to study at Oxford and Cambridge. Later, she was awarded for the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1964, for her work in working out the molecular structure of penicillin and vitamin B12. She was also known for lecturing former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and was the president of an international organisation set up in the 1950s to assess the dangers of nuclear weapons.

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Dr Mae Jemison

Whilst working in the medical field as a General Practitioner and attending graduate engineering classes in Los Angeles when NASA admitted her to its astronaut training program in June 1987. After more than a year of training, she became the first African American woman astronaut, holding the title of science mission specialist. Prior to her career as an astronaut, she also acted as a Peace Corps medical officer for Sierra Leone and Liberia.

 

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Helen Sharman

Originally from Yorkshire, Helen Sharman is a chemist who became the first British astronaut, as well as the first woman to visit the Mir space station in May 1991. Before she was an astronaut, she was a chemist for Mars, investigating flavourant properties in chocolate – how cool! She was in space for just over 7 days, working on “Project Juno”, and was only 27 at the time, therefore being the sixth youngest person to ever go to space.

Want to know more about STEM subjects? Have a look at the links below: 

The Amazingly Enormous STEM Careers Poster (PDF)

Women in STEM website - lots of interesting articles and resources about breaking barriers and challenging stereotypes around women working in STEM subjects. 

Blog post: stemwomen.co.uk - this blog post looks at indepth data around young women choosing to study STEM subjects

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