Back in November, IBM and Vanity Fair partnered up to profile eight diverse trailblazers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (S.T.E.M.). Five of these individuals are women of color who have broken barriers in the field and become role models for those of us who have followed their footsteps.
“When I went into space, people asked me about ‘its importance for black girls?’ My answer: ‘It’s certainly a meaningful example for young black girls. And it is also an important example for older white males who are the main gatekeepers to science and engineering. My being an astronaut removes any excuses for them to disregard the potential of girls of color.” – Dr. Mae Jemison for Vanity Fair
1. Dr. Mae Jemison – Physician, Engineer, Designer, Entrepreneur, First Woman of Color to Enter Space
3. Kimberly Bryant – Electrical Engineer, Founder of Black Girls CODE (an organization that encourages girls of color from underrepresented communities to enter STEM fields)
4. Dr. Ronke Olabisi – Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Director of the Olabisi Lab at Rutgers (where she and her team study tissue engineering for space travel)
5. Diana Albarrán Chicas – Electrical Engineer, Co-Founder of Latinas in S.T.E.M. (to drive young latinas into the field), First in her family to graduate college
“I grew up so focused on getting into college that I had never thought about what to do after I got in. It was difficult to navigate college life, and my parents couldn’t give me advice. I also had to work part time. I had to learn how to talk to professors, to not be intimidated, to ask for help. It took a while to actually get there.”
We are so proud of these ladies for paving the way for other women of color!