I want you to name as many famous scientists you can think of, starting now. Don’t worry, I’ll wait.
I’m guessing within the 30 or so seconds you took to think, the names that popped up the fastest were the likes of Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking, Galileo Galilei, Charles Darwin, Issac Newton, and, the best of the best, Steve Irwin.
And while there is absolutely no doubt that all of these men made incredible discoveries that changed the world of STEM forever, each of their contributions transforming some aspect of human, and in Steve’s case, animal life. As amazing as these men are, let me ask you this;
Did you even think of a woman?
If you didn’t you’re not alone. The scientific community is tragically terrible at recognizing women in pretty much anything; out of 590 people who have been awarded Nobel Prizes in chemistry, physics, and physiology or medicine, a measly 17 of them have been women.
Though some may argue that this gap exists because of disproportionate numbers of men in science, or (insultingly) women’s general lack of interest in science, the fact is a good deal of blame is a result of the male dominated society we live in that has, until relatively recently, deemed women’s knowledge and skills as subpar. The reality is, women have been a part of the scientific process for centuries, making leaps and bounds that have proven to be priceless, but have been pushed to the side, ignored, or robbed of their work.
Women like Cecilia Payne, who at age 25 discovered what elements the sun was made up of. An astronomer by the name of Henry Norris Russell persuaded her to not publish the paper because she couldn’t possibly be right. That is, until 4 years later, when he came to the same conclusion and published his own paper, and received all of the credit for Payne’s work.
Or Nettie Stevens, who discovered that our sex is determined by X and Y chromosomes. Although she was working with a man at the time, Thomas Morgan, most of the research was done independently. However when the Nobel Prize was awarded it was given to Morgan, completely leaving out Stevens’ name. To make matters worse, Morgan touted that she was actually more of a technician than an actual scientist, and tried to discredit everything she had worked on.
And who could forget Henrietta Lacks and her immortal cancer cells that quite literally revolutionized modern medicine and biology. Her cells have been used in every corner of the globe but no one cared enough to know her name. She was barely mentioned, details of her life dismissed, and her family left in poverty while researchers made millions off of her. The value that these cells added to world is immeasurable, but she was left in an unmarked grave till 2010, sixty years after her death.
But things are changing, and elevating the status of women in science and recognising their achievements is now well underway. There is still lots of work to be done however.
This is why we at Zuper are super excited when we hear about initiatives supporting advancements in STEM that support women who say “hell no” to the status quo. We don’t want to continue the historical pattern of turning a blind eye to women and their achievements. We want to acknowledge their invaluable gifts to science. When we read about what CDK were doing, one of the companies in our Zuper Tech portfolio, we had to share it with you.
CDK is a technology business who have pioneereed advancements in dealership management software. They are also long time supporters of ChickTech, a non-profit organization that works to put more women in tech-based fields. CDK has a deep culture of mentorship embedded into their company, and their partnership with ChickTech is a step towards raising the next generation of female STEM champions.
Typically operating on the weekends, ChickTech offers mentorship, workshops and tutorials in all things STEM. This program has proven to be effective in bringing more women into STEM university majors, and CDK hopes that this program will help not only balance out the gender differences in STEM fields, but also empower women to not let anything hold them back from living their best life. This is why CDK is one of our Zuperhero’s. If this story resonates with the world you’d like to see your money building, then find out more about Zuper Tech.
This article is general in nature, and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider if the information is appropriate and whether you need to speak to an accredited professional.
3rd year Uni student from the States trying to figure out her place in the world. Deeply passionate about social impact, education, and fluffy dogs.More