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A Tale of Two Sisters Blog

We support, celebrate, and teach writers.

Girls in Tech; Women in Energy

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By Catherine Greenspan

A recent segment on 60 Minutes affirmed what AAUW has known for almost two decades: in order to encourage more women in STEM fields: focus on middle school girls.

AAUW, founded in 1881, the American Association of University Women—is a “non-profit organization that advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, and research.” AAUW started its Tech Trek camps in 1998 in California and many more states have started camps, too, including New Mexico.

The premise? Take girls who express an interest in STEM—science, technology, engineering, and math—and send them to a week-long immersive, away-from-home camp where they can have fun and dive into hands-on activities like building an app or going on a field trip to the Very Large Array, one of the world's biggest and best astronomical radio observatories, and mingling with professional women in STEM, as the girls in New Mexico do every year. For more information AAUW-New Mexico Tech Trek, click here.

California has been holding camps long enough to compile data that confirms that when a girl’s interest in STEM is boosted before eighth grade, she is likely to keep going and pursue a STEM major in college and then pursue a STEM career.

Girls today are lucky that steps are being taken to support them.

Wouldn’t it be something if we could hear from some women who chose STEM careers way before there were camps and mentors to support them?

Wouldn’t it be curious to know the choices they made to pursue a field where they were sometimes the only women? Or the first woman in a certain role?

Now, what if those women were black?

No, this is not a remake of Hidden Figures.

It’s a new book about five women in energy.

Five African American women.

Five executives with profound integrity.

Five women who have forged a friendship after meeting in the male-dominated energy industry.

The motivation for writing a book that shares their stories over the last four decades echoes the action of other women in tech and computer science. Through their book, these women in energy will hopefully provide one level of support for women and women of color when they consider how they’d feel as the only woman in the room.

Their message: You’re not alone. You can do this. You can be the only girl in the class. You can be the only woman at the board table.

They hope their stories provide a cheering squad for girls as they consider or embark on careers in the energy industry amid vast opportunities offered under the STEM umbrella.

The Energy Within Us: An Illuminating Perspective for Five Trailblazers by Carolyn Green, Joyce Hayes-Giles, Rose McKinney-James, Hilda Pinnix-Ragland, and Telisa Toliver will be released on May 1, 2019. Publisher: Atkins & Greenspan Publishing.

(c)2019 Catherine Greenspan

To pre-order a copy of The Energy Within Us: An Illuminating Perspective for Five Trailblazers, click here.

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