Last year, my friend invited me to a Pint of Science event (lectures in pubs, which is brilliant) on women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) professions. Part of the swag I took home was a mug “How many female scientists can you name?” and even as I care so much about gender and power, I have to admit that I can’t do much better than most: starting with Marie Curie, then pulling a particularly pained face, straining to list at least one more.
I am so glad Marie Curie is at the tip of the tongue for most people – her accomplishments are astonishing and she has well-deserved her place in the zeitgeist, but there are also so many other women doing amazing things, true lovely outliers. I thought I might take the time to share some of my fav ladies doing rad things in a series Ladies crushing it.
Unfortunately, there are still so many implicit and explicit barriers to women succeeding in many fields.
Shine theory, a term coined by Ann Friedman, is about women supporting women – about surrounding yourself by incredible people who are doing awesome things, refusing to believe the lie that the success of other women will prevent us from reaching the stratosphere, and instead knowing that their success can be a powerful rising tide lifting the boats of many women around them.
By amplifying the voices of incredible ladies – by knowing their names and what astonishing differences they made in the world – perhaps we can move the needle a little bit more towards a creating a world where my niece grows up seeing the fields of science, engineering, politics, social change, sports, or art as places where she could choose to shine and places where she might expect to see female role models.
I don’t know how many of these I will write, but I thought I would like to learn more about some of these extraordinary women who have broken through barriers, let their voices be heard, and achieved incredible things. I would love to hear from you if you have suggestions of amazing ladies who have done cool things.
In the mean time, check out these three great things, featuring badass and awesome ladies.
The Rejected Princesses book and blog are amazing: http://www.rejectedprincesses.com/ It is a hilarious and brilliantly illustrated accounts of various lady heroes, villains, and general rule-breakers and rapscallions who changed the world a little bit.
For more shine theory and just awesome stuff about what is going on in the world, check out Ann Friedman and Aminatou Sow’s great podcast, Call your girlfriend.
And for a fictional treat, check out Pitch – a dramatic and fascinating series on the life of the first woman pitcher in American baseball.
Shine on, gems!