Monthly Archives

August 2013


Jaguar Land Rover continues drive for female engineers

The students, aged 15-18, will spend a week touring manufacturing, design and engineering sites, meet women from all levels of the business to find out about their career experiences and spend a day on work experience with a female mentor. They also find out about Jaguar Land Rover’s apprentice and graduate schemes and participate in workshops on job applications, assessment centres and interview techniques.

[ via The Engineer UK ]


Researcher reveals how “Computer Geeks” replaced “Computer Girls”

As the intellectual challenge of writing efficient code became apparent, employers began to train men as computer programmers. Rather than equating programming with clerical work, employers now compared it to male-stereotyped activities such as chess-playing or mathematics. But even so, hiring managers facing a labor crunch caused by the rapid expansion of computing could not afford to be overly choosy. The quickest way to staff new programming positions was to recruit from both sexes, and employers continued to hire women alongside men.

[ via The Clayman Institute for Gender Research ]


Can Boys And Girls Learn Better Together?

Contrary to what the statistics for females in engineering in college and the workforce might suggest, girls do like engineering when they’ve have the chance to build and take things apart. Generation STEM, a report by the Girl Scout Research Institute, shares that girls do like to learn how things work. They also want to help people and make a difference in the world. Unfortunately, not enough girls understand how engineering can help them achieve their goals. And, not enough girls have someone to encourage them to become an engineer.

[ via The Huffington Post ]


How Female Professionals Can Mentor the Next Generation

When deciding whether you want to become a mentor for girls within your field, remember how it felt to be one of the only girls in your science classes. We need girls to know that you all are out there, and that a scientist can look just like them. The more we can highlight and connect women from the field the greater chance we will have of helping girls discover the endless opportunities available to them and acquiring the leadership skills needed to thrive in today’s STEM environments.

[ via The Huffington Post ]


STEMinist Profile: Anna Sutton Stinson, Project Geologist

Anna Sutton Stinson

Project Geologist


What inspired you to pursue a career in STEM?
I always had fairly broad interests as a child. My mother is an artist and my father is an English professor, but both of them had broad interests as well, including farming and horses to chemistry, woodworking, and music. I loved science fiction and cosmology always fascinated me, and in high school I wanted to major in planetary science. I ended up majoring in astronomy and minoring in geology, but after I discovered geology included camping trips to beautiful places, I switched my major to geology and stuck with it. Developing the skills to observe the natural world and be able to put together a story about how it came to be that way is very satisfying to me.

What is the coolest project you have worked on and why?
I now work in environmental consulting, investigating and re-mediating petroleum and hazardous materials spills. My company says I assist our clients to comply with governmental regulations and best business practices. My drillers say I put dirt in jars. I also sometimes put groundwater and air in jars. The jars are then sent to laboratories for analysis, we interpret what contaminants are where and how they are moving and changing, and then we plan how to best limit risks to human health and the environment.

The coolest project I have worked on was doing environmental investigations at a large oil refinery. Ninety years of spills, leaks, and explosions made for lots of soil and groundwater contamination to hunt down and fix. Working at the refinery required very specific health and safety training, an FBI background check, and you had to wear fire resistant coveralls and a hydrogen sulfide gas meter.

Hydrogen sulfide gas can kill quickly, so we were trained to drop everything and run cross-wind and then up-wind if the alarm ever went off. Luckily, I never had to put that into practice. The refinery was a fascinating place to work, it was like its own small city, and there were always lots of big machinery and vehicles rumbling around through the tank farms and flare stacks.

Role models and heroes:
Sally Ride, Marie Curie, Ada Lovelace, Florence Nightingale, Hildegard von Bingen, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin Shelley.

Why do you loving working in STEM?
I love working in STEM because it is an opportunity to seek out unfamiliar situations and really challenge myself or push my limits.

Advice for future STEMinists?
Don’t be afraid to question and challenge gender stereotypes, even the tiniest ones. Often they are perpetuated simply because no one asks “why?” or “why not?”. Don’t let others define you, do what you enjoy and be yourself.

Favorite website or app: Check out some old maps!

Twitter: @annasutton


Digitalundivided ups the dialogue on getting more black people into tech

“The only faces you see, the only people you cover in campaigns and in the media, are young white guys. If you were a young black woman or a young Latino woman and you wanted to get involved in tech and you don’t see anyone who looks like you, it’s hard to take that chance.”

“In order to change the face, you literally need to change the face.”

[ via Pando Daily ]


Are Girls Really More Anxious About Math?

The researchers suggested lower self-reported math abilities in mathematics may be the reason behind the discrepancy in levels of anxiety reported by girls. The team posited the generalized survey may actually support inaccurate beliefs about female math competence, negatively biasing girls’ self-assessments and aggravating their math anxiety.

[ via redOrbit ]