Today is the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. Here’s Why it Matters.

Today, February 11th, is the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. I first stumbled across this holiday last year. As the resident “STEM girl” of my high school, this was shocking. How did I not know this day existed? If I was just finding out about this holiday, I figured a lot of people didn’t know about it either.

So what is the International Day of Women and Girls in Science?

In 2015, the United Nations officially declared February 11th as the day to highlight the essential role women and girls play in the advancement of science and all STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields. In recent years, the day has evolved into a celebration of women in STEM worldwide, and the perfect opportunity to encourage more girls to explore STEM.

It’s great that we have a day devoted to the advancement of women in STEM, but it doesn’t get the attention it deserves, and this is a problem. As much progress as we’ve made in increasing the number of women in STEM fields, there’s still more work to be done in dismantling the gender gap in STEM. While it’s fantastic that the number of STEM degrees awarded to women has increased by over 50,000 in the past decade, the STEM workforce remains male-dominated, with only 28% of it made up by women.

Evidently, we have work to do. Initiatives such as IF/THEN®, Kode With Klossy, and Girls Who Code are leading inspiring actions to help change these statistics, but this task can’t fall only on them. We need all hands on deck.

So how can we use this day to make a difference?

By simply raising awareness about this day, we can help rewrite the narrative that STEM is reserved for the “bros.” STEM and innovation go hand in hand. We need a diverse set of individuals and perspectives in the STEM community in order to create products, apps, websites, services, and businesses that actually reflect the needs of the entire population. If it weren’t for the work of Dr. Kizzmeika Corbett, we might not even have a COVID-19 vaccine.

While today is about celebrating the incredible work of STEM pioneers and current STEM innovators, it’s also about inspiring the next generation of STEM superheroes.

So take action! Get involved! Pay the STEM inspiration forward!

Share this article with someone in your life to get them excited about today and the future of women in STEM. If you’ve never been active in the STEM community before, let today be your sign to get involved. Whether you’re a parent, teacher, college kid, or K-12 student, there is a place for you in the STEM community. So purchase the Ada Lace chapter books by Emily Calandrelli or the Abby Invents children’s books by Dr. Arlyne Simon, sign up for a coding class, watch a TED talk, and get inspired.

Show how you’re celebrating today by using #WomenInSTEM, #WomenInScience, and #WomenInSTEMDay across your social media platforms.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store