Women in STEM: Storied Past, Promising Future

Female engineers and inventors have changed our world in many ways, but their demographic representation in the STEM fields has remained historically low. It’s an inequality that many professionals at the top of the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields are looking to rectify for the next generation of innovators, taking great care to onboard talented young women through camps, clubs, outreach programs, and mentorship.

One such annual event is Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day, an outreach by the National Society of Professional Engineers. Taking place this February 25th, Girl Day is all about facilitating fun and educational STEM-based activities for young women, specifically focusing on engineering and the problem-solving skills that can be honed therein.

While events are typically led by teachers, STEM pros, and volunteers in real space, the ongoing pandemic necessitates that many of this year’s events remain virtual. On the bright side, this means young women who may not have otherwise had a chance to participate will have the opportunity to access the global event.

Innovative women have long made history with their intelligence, creativity, and know-how.

  • Alice Parker, a New Jersey housewife, patented a form of gas-powered central heating after being inspired by frosty East Coast winters. She filed the patent pre-Women’s Lib and Civil Rights movements, an outstanding feat for a woman of color during this era. While her patent was not directly used, it served as the inspiration for many of today’s central heating units.
  • Beulah Louise Henry is remembered as America’s leading female inventor, having held a total of 49 patents and 110 inventions in her lifetime; her work largely revolved around improving the efficiency and ease of daily life. She went on two establish two manufacturing plants, The Henry Umbrella and Parasol Company and the B.L. Henry Company. She was also employed as an inventor for Nichols Machine Works as well as a consultant for a number of companies which manufactured her products.

To learn more about famous female engineers who have shaped our world, read and share this informative infographic from We the Parents.

10 engineer women

 Neve blogs at WeTheParents.org with where she seeks to bring out the humour in parenting and gets nerdy researching and reviewing the gear that mums and dads (apparently) need. You can also catch her on Facebook and Twitter.

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