Throughout history, women have advanced our world with numerous contributions to the progress of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
However, they still remain heavily underrepresented making up only 28% of the U.S. science and engineering workforce with the greatest disparities occurring in engineering, computer science, and physical science.
Today we celebrate a few inspiring women who are helping to change the narrative. We only list 5 but are proud to report that there is a growing number of STEMinists who are leaving a lasting mark. These women are succeeding in their fields while lighting the way for anyone wishing to pursue their dream career in STEM.
1. Anjali Kottha – VP Technical Services at GMS Registrar
Anjali is an incredibly influential woman who is excelling her way to the top of GMS Registrar, which provides critical certification services for companies in the IT, medical, and environmental fields.
Anjali was also one of the youngest lead appraisers to earn the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) certification for software development. GMS publically recognized that the efficiency and safety of medical devices in the United States owe much to the vision and persistence of Anajai.
In addition to her distinguished career, Anjali commits her time to volunteer, tutor, and encourage young students to improve their math, science, and writing competencies.
2. Xyla Foxlin – Executive Director at Beauty and the Bolt
Troubled by the discouraging underrepresentation of women in STEM fields, Xyla Foxlin took matters into her own hands by founding Beauty and the Bolt. This 501c3 nonprofit is dedicated to making STEM education accessible to students of all backgrounds.
Our entire team is dedicated to the idea that both brilliance and beauty take thousands of forms, and that everyone should be given the resources, training, and knowledge to show the world their dreams.
Xyla and Beauty and the Bolt attack the disparity in STEM from different angles. They create resources for at-home learning, assist education in low-income areas, and collaborate with local businesses to promote STEM accessibility. Xyla shares:
3. Whitney Ciani – Senior Geotechnical Engineer at GeoEngineers
Whitney is the lead engineer and senior geotechnical consultant at GeoEngineers. She leads projects on design-build transportation, deep excavations, soft ground/ground improvement, seismic design, and is currently working to build the longest floating bridge in the world. Basically, Whitney makes the ground safe for us to walk on!
4. Alba Colon – NASCAR Program Manager at General Motors
Alba Colon is as badass as she sounds. She grew up in Puerto Rico and fell in love with cars as a mechanical engineering student. Alba joined GM right out of college and propelled her career to become the lead engineer for the Team Chevrolet of the NASCAR Spirit Cup Series.
5. Vickei Hrdina - Director of STEM Initiatives at Educational Service District 112
Vickei Hrdina leads her local school districts as the Director of STEM for Southwest Washington. Vickei works with local colleges, universities, businesses, and industries to create a coherent regional professional learning system that provides accessible STEM education so that local students can find exciting ways to grow their problem-solving skills before graduation.
Vickei also gives back to the educational communities of Washington as a middle school STEM teacher and a Science Curriculum Specialist at the American Institutes for Research.