Who was your inspiration when you were growing up? An athlete? A pop star? A scientist?
Even though there are limited females in STEM fields, we are not limited by inspirational females who inspired us to dream big!
Personally, the character of Hermione had a huge impact on my opinion of schoolwork as a young child. I was part of the generation that learned how to read on Harry Potter books, and I instantly connected with Hermione. As Emma Watson puts it, “Hermione made it okay for girls to be the smartest in the room. To be a leader, the one with the plan.” Even when Hermione was faced with classmates who would scoff at her hard work or eagerness, she persisted and refused to change herself due to peer pressure.
If athletes were your role models, you were probably gained confidence by watching Billie Jean King prove that women are on the same playing field as men – quite literally. After tennis player Bobby Riggs stated that no female player could beat him because the female tennis game was inferior to his game, Billie Jean King challenged him to a game. It was publicized as the “Battle of the Sexes” and set a record for the largest number of attendees at a match in the US. Billie Jean beat Riggs in three straight sets, and instilled confidence in girls across the country.
Did dream of traveling to the stars when you were younger? Mae Jemison inspired the girls growing up in the 90’s when she entered into space. Not only was she the first African American woman in space, but she is also an engineer and physician – talk about an accomplished woman! While she was in space, she performed her mission duties, but she also led experiments on bone cells while she was in orbit. Her story is a great example of combining both talents and skills with passion – Mae had wanted to go into space since she was a young child, and used her talents as an engineer and physician to accomplish this goal.
Looking forward, even more young girls today will be exposed to the amazing women showcased in the recent film “Hidden Figures”. Katherine Johnson is an amazing mathematician who worked as a human computer for NASA during the early space flight push. Her work directly contributed to the successful moon landing. Johnson fought to overcome incredible biases within NASA, both gender- and racially-based. With women like Johnson as role models, the next generation of girls will continue the trend to increasing female presence in the STEM fields.
Here’s hoping these amazing women give you the push you need to finish your week strong! Keep doing what you love, despite any adversity you face, and someday the next generation will write about how inspirational you are!
Who were your inspirations growing up? Who are your inspirations now? Share in the comments below!