If you’re a female-identifying teen and you attend high school, chances are good that you take, or will take, a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) class. Physics, biology, and chemistry are the usual suspects. We’re writing to share some collective wisdom with you from our own high-school experience.
Discouraged from a promising career in science, Eileen Pollack published her 2015 memoir The Only Woman in the Room to unravel the many instances of sexism, large and small, which push women like her out of STEM fields.
The first woman proposed for membership in the Royal Society, Hertha Ayrton created inventions from tools architects used for enlarging and reducing drawings to fans that could clear poison gas from mine shafts.
Praised by many, including Albert Einstein, as the most important woman in the history of mathematics, Emmy Noether helped develop abstract algebra and crafted a theorem explaining the connection between symmetry and conservation laws in physics.
One of only three women physicists certified to teach at the university level before WWII, Hedwig Kohn did research on measuring the intensity of light which was still cited by physicists over a decade after her death.
Dr. Feynman fought an uphill battle—she had the smarts and the ability, but she was living in a world that wasn’t able to support or encourage a woman in science. Realizing the realities of the academic culture, she relegated her ambitions to being an assistant to a male physicist. Luckily for all of us—and for the field of theoretical physics—the support of her brother helped her set her goals at being a “high-medium physicist.”
One <em>Erev Pesach</em> my grandmother demonstrated physics at the University of Toronto for three hours, went to the radio studio to tape a live broadcast, taped two more broadcasts for the upcoming days of <em>Yom Tov</em>, and came home to make <em>seder</em>.
Rosalyn Yalow had two strikes against her in her effort to become a physicist: She was a Jew and a woman. She persevered, and not only earned a career in science and many awards—including a Nobel Prize—but changed the medical world with the introduction of radioimmunoassay.
In October 2003 the European Commission published She Figures, a survey on women in science and technology in member countries and associates (including Israel), which cited statistics and other data that provide a basis for measuring the degree of progress towards equality of the sexes in these spheres.
Journalist, educator, homemaker, and community stalwart with a Ph.D. in physics, Mattie (née Levi) Rotenberg was born in Toronto to parents who had immigrated as teenagers when Jewish Toronto was a village with a population of barely 2000.