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International Women’s Day is held every year on March 8 to celebrate women’s social, economic, cultural, and political achievements. It’s a day that marks a call to action for equality, and to bring awareness around significant issues like pay equity.

Have you ever wondered what the gender pay gap is? If you go on Twitter, you might find out from the Gender Pay Gap Bot.

The bot, recently invented by UK creative strategist Francesca Lawson and programmer Ali Fensom, was designed to ‘listen’ for various Twitter and social media keywords related to International Women’s Day. 

When the Gender Pay Gap Bot finds a relevant post by a company, a quote tweet is auto-published with the company’s gender pay gap. Its intent is to highlight gaps, whether between a company’s words shared and actions made or between men’s and women’s pay. 

Researchers have long been interested in the pay gap parity, especially when it comes to fields like STEM. Why? Studies show that graduates of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs typically earn more than non-STEM graduates, but women earn considerably less.

Women Make 77 Cents On The Dollar

The pay gap parity between women and men in STEM jobs remains substantial

US-based Pew Research shows that women in STEM jobs earn a median of $66,200 which is 74% of what men earn in STEM ($90,000). 

The racial and ethnic earnings gaps among STEM workers have recently increased, with the median earnings of Black workers in STEM ($61,100) being 78% of the median earnings of white workers in STEM ($78,000). 

Today’s post-Covid and pre-economic downturn have people worried about the impact this year will have on their incomes and futures. Over the last few years, there’s been a migration toward recession-proof careers in STEM.

STEM jobs are some of the most in-demand jobs today. According to the US Bureau of Labor, in-demand fields like STEM are projected to grow an additional 11 percent from 2021 to 2030.  

International Women’s Day Is A Call To Action For Change

Annual events like International Women’s Day provide a global platform for people and organizations to embrace equity and create meaningful change across all industries including STEM.

In honor of the famous women in STEM fields who paved the way for future generations of women scientists, astronomers, computer science programmers, and geneticists, here are a few notable women who changed the world. Happy International Women’s Day.

Katalin Karikó

One of the more recent award-winning women in STEM, Katalin Karikó is the leading mRNA researcher for BioNTech who developed one of the first COVID-19 vaccines in 2020.

Two of the most effective vaccines (BioNTech/Pfizer and Moderna) are based on her developments. She created the basis for the effective and successful fight against SARS-CoV-2 virus worldwide and is known for her pioneering and globally significant work in biochemistry.

Grace Hopper

Grace Hopper was a computer scientist and naval officer. In 1952, she developed the first compiler, which translated high-level computer programming languages into machine-readable code. 

She also helped popularize the idea of machine-independent programming languages. She was instrumental in developing COBOL (Common Business Oriented Language), one of the first high-level programming languages. 

COBOL is still widely used in insurance, finance, and the public sector.

Mae Jemison

Jemison broke barriers in 1992 when she became the first African-American woman astronaut to travel into space aboard the Endeavor Space Shuttle.

Katherine Johnson

Mathematician Katherine Johnson is known for calculating the Apollo 11 mission trajectories that sent astronauts to the moon. 

Johnson was the first Black woman to desegregate the graduate school at West Virginia University and went on to work at NASA as a “human computer” before becoming the first woman in her division to author a research report. 

Her calculations were vital to the success of the Apollo missions, including the historic Apollo 11 mission that landed the first humans on the moon.

Rosalind Franklin

British chemist Rosalind Franklin is known for her groundbreaking contributions to the discovery of the molecular structure of DNA in the early 1950s.

Although many people credit James Watson and Francis Crick with this discovery, Franklin’s X-ray crystallography images of DNA were integral to their research and paved the way for modern genetics.

Hedy Lamarr

While she was acting, Hedy Lamarr was also inventing a secret radio guidance system for torpedoes that could not be detected or jammed by enemies during World War II. In 1941, Lamarr submitted a patent for radio frequency hopping that built the foundation for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS. In 1941, she also starred in the musical film Ziegfield Girl with Judy Garland, Lana Turner, and James Stewart.

Adele Goldberg

Goldberg created Smalltalk-80, an object-oriented programming language that influenced other computer languages, including C++, Java, and Python.

Barbara Liskov won the Turing award for her work with data abstraction and object-oriented programming.

Carol Shaw was the first female video game designer and is considered one of the pioneering members of the industry.

Karen Sparck Jones developed theories about natural language processing that are used in search engines today.

Annie Easley was an early team member that developed the software used in the Centaur rocket stage, which was later applied to hybrid vehicles.

The first woman to win a Fields Medal, Maryam Mirzakhani, was known for her work on complex geometry and dynamical systems.

After graduating top of her class at MIT, Radia Perlman pioneered network routing algorithms now used by every network in the world.

Chien-Shiung Wu helped prove one of physics’ most famous theories and won many awards for her groundbreaking work.

Teachers Can Pave The Way For Future Generations Of All Genders In STEM

These women and many others on this list, such as Barbara McClintock, Ada Lovelace, and Marie Curie, have contributed immeasurably to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. 

Their trailblazing work has paved the way for future generations of young women and underrepresented minorities to enter these fields and succeed.

If you’re interested in becoming a teacher and sharing your expertise and knowledge with future generations in STEM, download a brochure to learn more about our accredited, affordable, and fast-track teacher certification program

Teach Away and its sister company Klassroom, advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion in classrooms and schools around the world. Let’s work together and make changes for all genders.

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