Black Women Standing Strong in STEM
Women in the fields of Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) are a rarity all over the globe. Only approximately 25% of women make up the world of STEM and women of color make up less than 10% of employed scientists and engineers as of 2013. Yes, only TEN Percent--you read that right, insert crying emoji face! Don’t be fooled, however, women of color have made enormous strides in history thereby progressively changing the face of the STEM field. You may be familiar with names such as Dr. Mae Jamison, the first African American women to go into space, Dr. Marjorie Lee Brown, one of the first scientists to set up an electronic computer lab at a historically Black college in 1960, now recognized as North Carolina A&T, Dr. Alexa Canada, the the first African-American neurosurgeon and Dr. Aletha Maybank the creator of the popular children’s show Doc McStuffins.
With Women’s History Month coming to a close, I wanted to acknowledge four young women you may not be familiar with--women who are continuing to make history and break barriers.
Camille Hearst, a Stanford alum with a Master’s Degree in Management, Science, and Engineering focus in Organization, Technology, & Entrepreneurship. Hearst has climbed the tech ladder with big names such as Apple, Google and YouTube. Hearst is the CEO and Co-Founder of Kit, a social platform designed to help influencers and tastemakers alike share their favorite products. She raised $2.5 Million dollars in funding to get Kit off the ground, making her one of the few black women to raise more than $1 Million dollars.
Corvida Raven is the founder of SheGeeks.net and the award winning Twitter app, Everything Twitter. This twenty-something year old tech maven is not only a blogger but a social media consultant for Fast Company, GM, Intel and is a community catalyst at TED. With an extensive background of discussing new gadgets and teaching us how to take our social media game to the next level, Raven was rightfully named one of the most influential women in technology by Fast Company magazine in 2009 and recognized by both Essence and Glamour magazine while also receiving the 2012 Women Interactive Digital Vanguard award.
Rachel A. Brooks: Michigan native who is currently based in San Fransisco is the co-founder of New York-based software company, Citizen Made, an e-commerce platform that makes it possible for brands to sell their custom products online. Citizen Made is described as Nike ID, except for everyone. It was named one of the “25 Coolest New Businesses in Chicago” by Business Insider and Brooks has has been recognized by Dell’s Inspire 100, one of Women Innovate Mobile’s Female Founders and has delivered a speech at TED talks. Yeah, she's bomb.
Nancy Abu-Bonsrah is our last women STEM highlight. By the time you read this article you would have seen her name all over your social media timelines. She is the very first black female neurosurgeon at world renowned John’s Hopkins University Hospital. Bonsrah was raised in Ghana until the age of 15 and has lived in Maryland for the last 11 years. She recently matched to John’s Hopkins University hospital and will begin her residency in their neurosurgery department after she graduates from the medical school. To top it off she is the first physician in her family. She hopes to go back to Ghana over the course of her career to build sustainable surgical infrastructure. Talk about fly--literally and metaphorically!
We look forward to hearing about the continued dopeness these women create while also keeping an eye out for the up and coming women in STEM.
Courtney Danielle Stradford is co-founder and creative director of Black Girl Fly Magazine. Born and raised in Staten Island, N.Y she is the epitome of a true New Yorker. She has an unwavering passion for fashion, hair, culture and of course a love for brunch! Courtney has a Master's degree in microbiology and is moonlighting as a natural hair and beauty enthusiast. She began her natural hair journey over a year and a half ago. By combining her creativity and passion she founded her brand Curls and Couture. The Curls and Couture brand caters to the natural, fashionable and fit woman while serving as a platform for advice and inspiration.