By Laura Patterson
— Bronx International (@bxihs) March 18, 2015
— AFSE (@afsenyc) March 18, 2015
The workshops were all the more profound because of their facilitators. Nearly all of the sessions’ leads were women with deep and diverse experiences in STEM, women who have met success in their fields and love their work despite the fact that often times there have not been many others like them at the table. Alex Meis, co-founder of Kinvolved and facilitator of the workshop on starting companies, spoke of the labeling she felt and the assumptions that were made because of her gender and the many hardships she has encountered as a woman in the tech industry. She went on to impart some thoughtful principles to the students in her session, telling them to always be nice and to be persistent. “Someone is always going to tell you no,” she said to the girls. “For every hundred asks, I received ninety-seven nos. It was worth it for the final three”. Having the will and patience to hold out for the ‘yes’ is not only the sign of a strong entrepreneur, but it can also signify the strength of a movement. When it comes to bringing women into STEM, it is important to hold both qualities near. Events like #STEMLikeAGirl bring young women deciding on their futures into the STEM universe, and we cannot wait to see what happens for all of the girls who said ‘yes’ to STEM as a result of having participated.
#STEMLikeAGirl was hosted by The Academy For Software Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and the iZone. Many thanks to the wonderful organizations who allowed us to spend the afternoon with their girls: C/I, ScriptEd, Black Girls Code, Girls Who Code, NFTE New York Metro.