Complaining is a delicate art form. Let’s take into consideration Person A and Person B. On a hot day outside, Person A loudly voices their distaste about the heat—obnoxiously verbalizing what most people are trying to forget about. In a similar environment, Person B also voices their distaste for the heat but pairs the grievance with an invitation to go to their air-conditioned house. All too often, a complainer, such as Person A, is somebody who provides no solution to the problem they are complaining about. In some situations, however, the person to ameliorate the complaint by implementing change, Person B, is an advocate.
Dissatisfaction with the local weather is a frivolous example of a complaint. On the large scale, complaining can be a serious and impactful way to implement change. Environmental, animal, and human rights have all had a history of being improved by voiced concerns. These complaints, of course, were paired with suggested ways to ameliorate the issues.
The feminist movement began with people complaining about the big picture. Let’s let women vote, let’s allow women to work outside the home, let’s let women be legally independent. For the most part, many women have found this sense of equality today. Overall, women are taking 47% of the workforce (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2015) and laws have been created to stop sexual discrimination and harassment in the workplace. In addition, we are seeing women taking more places in government offices than ever before (Catalyst, 2017). To many people, women have reached the finish line and there is no more work to be done.
However, this sentiment is simply untrue. While great strides have been made in governmental representation, only 21% of the Senate seats are filled by women (Catalyst, 2017). While great strides have been made in the STEM fields, only 26% of jobs in math and computer science are held by women (US Department of Labor, 2017). While great strides have been made in achieving gender equality, there are many steps we still need to take to fully reach it.
One way I’d like to help is by creating this blog as a platform to discuss the issues women face in the STEM field and to listen to your complaints as a woman in STEM. Hopefully we will be able to build off of these grievances to propose possible solutions. In addition, I will take you through my week as a woman in STEM studying Chemistry.
Overall, the goal of this blog is to be informative and motivating. I would like to show you what life is like as a woman in STEM and I would also like to discuss with you the issues that many women in STEM face. I also would like to encourage you, the reader, to ask questions, challenge my posts, or present new topics of discussion. I am not an expert on gender and women’s studies and I have much more to learn on the science front, so most of this blog will be focused on using published studies and interviews with professionals in the STEM fields.
Also, hi! I guess I should introduce myself. My name is Katie and I am a junior majoring in chemistry at the University of Kentucky. I am an #IAmAWomanInSTEM Scholar and I hope this blog is able to help you in some way.
Please comment below and tell me what topics you’d like to discuss in this blog!
Catalyst. Quick Take: Women in Government. New York: Catalyst, February 15, 2017.