5 Most Admirable Women in STEM

Happy International Women’s Day! This is one of my favorite days because it is centered around women all across the world reaching their full potential. As a girl majoring in a STEM-related field, I decided for this amazing day I should take the time to honor those females who changed the course of STEM and how they served as an inspiration for me. 

  1. 1. Rosalind Franklin

    Rosalind Franklin was a chemist in the early 1920s. She is known for her work in X-rays to determine the structure of DNA. What I thought was surprising was that it was Watson, Crick and Wilkins who shared the Nobel Peace Prize for determining that the DNA is a double helix. Franklin did not get the credit she deserved, but it was her work in X-ray diffraction that led to the discovery. 

  2. 2. Dr. Roberta Bondar 

    Dr. Roberta Bondar is Canada’s first female astronaut and the world’s first astronaut-neurologist. She was the head of a space medicine research team working with NASA to study the body’s ability to readapt after exposure to space. Dr. Bondar also has a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto in neuroscience and received her MD from McMaster University shortly after. Her dedication towards her academia continues to inspire me to work hard. 

  3. 3. Dr. Aprille Ericsson-Jackson

    Dr. Aprille Ericsson-Jackson was the first African-American woman to earn her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Howard University as well as a Ph.D. in Engineering at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. She strives to encourage other African-American women to pursue a career in the STEM field. Dr. Ericcson-Jackson currently works at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center where she plays a critical role in designing spacecraft. 

  4. 4. Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell

    Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell was the first woman to receive an MD in the United States in 1849. She founded the New York Infirmary for Women and Children. Dr. Blackwell’s biggest challenge was society, she had very few patients due to the fact that she was a female. Many people refused to accept the idea that a woman could be a doctor. Her courage and commitment to her dream shows that no matter what society believes, nobody should have the power to stop you from achieving your goals. 

  5. 5. Katherine Johnson

    Katherine Johnson was a mathematician whose work sent astronauts to the moon and back. She calculated trajectories for NASA missions. In an interview, she mentioned how women working in NASA were given tasks to complete and did so without any hesitation, but she liked to ask questions and understand the meaning of the work she was told to do. Johnson received the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama in 2015. She refused to live by society’s expectations especially as a female minority, and continues to inspire so many young women today. 

These were just a few women that I believed inspired me to pursue my education in STEM. There are so many other women out that have changed the course of medicine, aided in the development of technology or formulated rigorous algorithms for computing or mathematics. Women can do anything they put their mind to, all it takes is hard work and dedication. Just like the women mentioned above, never let society put you down or prevent you from achieving your dream⁠—whether or not it’s in the STEM field.