Friday, January 24, 2014

Lady Paragons: Building a Women in STEM Community

Below is a guest post is by Sarah Worsham cofounder of LadyParagons.com describing the goals of her site and how you can get involved.

Do you remember what led you to a career in science? For me, I grew up with a father who was a physics teacher and then a computer science teacher.  We had a computer in the house for as long as I can remember.  I grew up playing mostly with boys -- my favorite toys were Legos, Transformers and anything space related.  I thought science was cool -- my favorite subject at school and I had some great science teachers.  In high school I decided I wanted to go into engineering so I could design cars.

At college, my engineering classes had a minority of women, especially when I switched from mechanical to computer engineering.  I did have a few female professors, but internships groups we almost entirely male.  After college, being the minority gender was the norm, but I didn't let it bother me.  It still doesn't, at least in terms of working with others, but it does bother me that more women aren't in STEM fields, and aren't in management and leadership roles.

To try to address this problem, my sister, Marie (who is a PhD in Pharmacology and Molecular Chemistry), and I are building an online community at LadyParagons.com where ladies can help ladies succeed in STEM careers.

To do this, we are:
  • Blogging about women and organizations in STEM.
  • Podcasting interviews with women in STEM to tell their stories.
  • Maintaining a directory or organizations that can help women and girls in STEM.
  • Hosting a community where ladies can help ladies succeed in STEM careers (mentoring, answering questions, volunteering time & skills).
  • Developing lesson plans and teaching resources to help students learn about women who have been successful in STEM careers, and to make learning STEM subjects fun for girls.
  • Donating a portion of any profits to a STEM organization that benefits women and/or girls.
We need your help!  You can help by:
Please also connect with us on Twitter and follow us on Facebook.