How can parents/guardians help girls find inspiring female STEM role models and mentors?
To see themselves as scientists and to view science as accessible and fun, girls need to see women and other girls engaged in and enjoying STEM endeavors. The following links showcase female professional scientists who work in a wide range of fields and love their work. There are girls too, who have accomplished big things at a young age–see the White House video, in particular. The professional organizations of female scientists can be used for outreach and networking to find mentors or internships, or just someone to talk to about a particular career or job.
Tips for Parents Seeking Female STEM Role Models
Keep your eyes open for in-person female STEM role models in your local community as well as online—they could be anyone from a neighbor who is a farmer, to your pharmacist or your hairdresser. Also encourage your daughter to look for STEM role models among her peers at school—if she seeks out other girls who like STEM, she may find inspiration and a sense of community. And remember that as parents, you are your daughter’s first role models too, so if you want your daughter to have positive feelings about STEM, model this yourself.
Role Models for Girls
- If/Then Ambassadors—inspiring, authentic pictures, profiles, and video interviews with women in all sorts of STEM fields
- Fabfems—women in STEM fields who offer themselves as role models for girls interested in STEM careers
- Career Girls—offers videos from hundreds of role models in a wide variety of fields, including STEM
- SciGirls Role Model Profiles—spotlights women in a variety of STEM jobs; also available in Spanish
- White House Video on Girls in STEM—young women invited to the Obama White House because of their STEM accomplishments
- Inspire! Educational Video Collection—female engineers reflect on their career pathways and the fun of the engineering process
- Engineer Girl—profiles and interviews of female engineers.
- Inspiring the Next Generation of Female Engineers—an inspiring TEDx talk with engineer Debbie Sterling, inventor of Goldie Blocks
- NASA Women of STEM — Interviews and activities featuring women of STEM
- The ELLA Project — stories, inspiration, and advice to girls from women with a passion for STEM and entrepreneurship
- NOVA: The Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers—Women in STEM –women talk about their jobs in STEM
- Stelr—videos and profiles of Australian female role models and entrepreneurs from STEM fields
Professional Organizations for Women in STEM Careers
- Association for Women in Science (AWIS)—a global network to advance women in STEM, spark innovation, promote organizational success, and drive systemic change
- National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT)—change leaders focused on advancing innovation by correcting underrepresentation in computing
- Society of Women Engineers (SWE)—an advocate and catalyst for change for women in engineering and technology
- Girl Develop It (GDI)—supportive opportunities for women and non-binary adults to learn software development skills
- Girls in Tech—committed to ending gender inequities in tech through boot camps, workshops, events, and job boards
- Women in Engineering Proactive Network —enhancing the success of women in engineering in academia and the professions
- National Society of Black Engineers— aims to increase the number of culturally responsible Black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally, and positively impact the community
- Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers—promotes Hispanics in engineering, math and science
- Lesbians Who Tech—a community of LGBTQ women, non-binary and trans individuals in and around tech and their allies
Training on Being a Good Role Model for Girls
- Role Models Matter by Techbridge—how to be an effective role model, especially for BIPOC girls