A group of UK faculty, staff and students got together in fall 2015 to propose a new movement called #IAmAWomanInSTEM. The following spring, in partnership with the American Association of University Women (AAUW) Kentucky Branch and the Kentucky Girls STEM Collaborative, several gatherings of volunteers came together to launch the initiative. Our mission is to increase graduation rates by women in STEM-related majors/minors at the postsecondary level. This improvement needs to happen in all our colleges and universities, but we are starting locally and go statewide by 2017. Partnering with the MillionWomenMentors-KY chapter (launched in September 2016 with Lt. Governor Janean Hampton as honorary chair), to try and scale up the number of mentors available to undergraduate women. In addition, we seek to offer financial incentives for UK students to take on leadership roles.
This effort is in support of undergraduate women who have taken on the daunting task of persevering in majors (or minors) that rely primarily on the sciences, technologies and mathematics – including engineering and health care professions (aka STEM+H). Inspired by the #distractinglysexy social media campaign launched by Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett, the #IAmAWomanInSTEM leadership teams call for volunteers at UK (and beyond) to create a constructive and supportive space for women to showcase their important contributions to STEM+H related academic and professional work.
There are four goals for the #IAmAWomanInSTEM Initiative:
- Encourage female undergraduate students to stay in STEM majors (sciences, technology, engineering, mathematics) and/or healthcare-related majors.
- Provide female undergraduates with positive role models.
- Create discussion on the issues facing women in STEM fields, both in the classroom and in the workplace.
- Involve female undergraduates (and male allies) in the leadership and development of the #IAmAWomanInSTEM initiative.
Want to nominate a woman for our "Woman of the Week" series? Fill out our webform here:
See more of the #IAmAWomanInSTEM initiative by exploring our website - click on the different sections of the site listed to the left.