Progress takes courage, determination, leadership and an unwavering belief in the change you want to see in the world. We’re following these 100 women on that journey.
In 2013, Silicon Republic CEO and Inspirefest founder Ann O’Dea launched the Women Invent campaign.
The aim was simple: purposefully spotlight and profile more women working in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) on this platform. What was remarkable was that something so basic was so necessary.
We had read the studies and interpreted the data. STEM sectors suffered from a lack of gender diversity.
Young girls without role models could see no pathway, and the women further down the pipeline were disappearing instead of advancing in their careers.
At the time, the cause for better gender balance in STEM was not the in-vogue topic it is today, on the eve of International Women’s Day 2018. In five years, we have witnessed a shift in the conversation. It was gradual but forceful.
Now, I hope that those raising their voices on this issue no longer feel like they’re shouting into the void.
The problem – and it is a very real and damaging problem – can no longer be dismissed. We have arrived, finally, at acknowledgement, but we will not stop at acceptance.
Starting the conversation is step one. Talk, now, must become action.
In line with this year’s International Women’s Day theme, our latest Women Invent 100 – a list of 100 inspiring, powerful women in STEM – is dedicated to those who are pressing for progress.
These women are actively engaged in addressing the gender gap in STEM and shortening the timeline to gender equality.
They are challenging stereotypes and bias, forging positive visibility of women, influencing others’ beliefs and actions, and celebrating other women’s achievements.
Some are well known, the vanguards of the cause. Others are part of smaller movements, but no less deserving of their place on this list. Yes, we need superstars, but we need the grassroots grafters too, whose hard work can often be hidden behind the scenes. We see you.
We see those who have done more than pay lip service to gender equality. We see those who have tirelessly toiled in environments that aren’t always welcome to the change they beckon. We see those who are tired of pointing out the same issues again and again, yet still won’t stop.
We see intersectional advocates addressing STEM diversity more broadly, fostering inclusion among groups such as people of colour, people with disabilities, people from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds, and the LGBTQ community.
We see many of these people – men and women – and just 100 of them are listed here. There’s no prize, no ranking, no shiny statuette that separates them from countless others. We simply couldn’t fit them all in.
And we continue to use our platform to show that STEM is best when it is diverse and inclusive.
Introduction by Elaine Burke
The Community Builders
These are the people building communities supportive of women in STEM, giving them welcoming spaces in which to connect, grow and thrive.
FEATURING: SHEREE ATCHESON | ELVA CARRI, ÁINE MULLOY AND PAMELA NEWENHAM | FABIAN DATTNER AND JESS MELBOURNE THOMAS | NIAMH KAVANAGH | TRACY KEOGH | VICTORIA MCCALLUM | FARZANA NASSER | ZOË QUINN | VICKY TWOMEY-LEE | MARGARET E WARD
The Pipeline Protectors
These are the people addressing gender balance in the STEM pipeline, nurturing a new generation of women in STEM through education and outreach initiatives.
FEATURING: ALEX BERNADOTTE | AOIBHÉANN BIRD, RUTH KENEALY AND SUZANNE LITTLE | SUE BLACK | KIMBERLY BRYANT | RUTH BUCKLEY, GILLIAN KEATING AND CAROLINE O’DRISCOLL | MARI CAHALANE | MARY CARTY | HELEN CONCANNON | JOANNE DOLAN | ANDREA FAGAN | RUTHE FARMER | RUTH FREEMAN | MERRILYN GOOS | HEATHER HEENEHAN | ANNE-MARIE IMAFIDON | ROYA MAHBOOB | HANNA NAIMA MCCLOSKEY | MARY MCKENNA | PAULA NEARY | UNOMA NDILI OKORAFOR | NORAH PATTEN | TAYLOR DENISE RICHARDSON | BECKY SAGE | RESHMA SAUJANI | NIAMBH SCULLION | CAROLINE SPILLANE | ELLEN STOFAN | SUSAN WU | MALALA YOUSAFZAI
Diversity is a good investment, and this group know it. These are the people investing (often more than just money) in women, or enabling women investors.
FEATURING: SARA BRAND | NISHA DUA AND SUSAN LYNE | ANU DUGGAL | ELIZABETH GALBUT AND POCKET SUN | CINDY GALLOP | ARLAN HAMILTON | ARI HORIE | KATHY KELLY | SALLIE KRAWCHECK | AILEEN LEE | CLAIRE LEE | NATALIA OBERTI NOGUERA | ANNE RAVANONA | VICKI SAUNDERS | JULIE SINNAMON | SYDNEY THOMAS | SHARON VOSMEK
The Workplace Advocates
STEM can be a tough, competitive workplace – worse still if you are in a minority group. Thanks to these people setting up and running effective employee support groups and workplace initiatives, women in STEM workplaces can find the support they need.
FEATURING: ERICA JOY BAKER | ANNA BULL, EMMA CHAPMAN, HEIDI HASBROUCK, TIFFANY PAGE AND CHRYSSA SDROLIA | TRACY CHOU | LYNN CONWAY AND LEANDRA VICCI | JOELLE EMERSON | MELINDA BRIANA EPLER | Y-VONNE HUTCHINSON | CLAUDIA KESSLER | ITA LANGTON | VIOLA LLEWELLYN | LORNA MARTYN | GERALDINE MCCARTHY | ELLEN PAO | SHEEKA PATAK | SINÉAD SCULLY | HAYLEY SUDBURY | POORNIMA VIJAYASHANKER | RACHEL WILLIAMS
Representation matters, and these people are helping the visibility of women in STEM by sharing their stories, either as authors, performers, creators or campaigners for this cause.
FEATURING: MICHELLE CULLEN AND EITHNE HARLEY | GEENA DAVIS | BECKY DOUGLAS, CLAIRE MURRAY, LAURA TOBIN AND JESS WADE | MARIE HICKS | HEATHER MASSIE | ELENA ROSSINI | ANGELA SAINI | ANITA SARKEESIAN
If you are inspired by this list and want to tell us about how you or a friend, colleague or idol are doing great things for diversity in STEM, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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