Happy International Day of Women and Girls in Science!

This Saturday, February 11th, is International Day of Women and Girls in Science! We have made great strides towards gender equality over the decades – today, women make up a third of people employed in STEM fields and that percentage continues to grow. Here are some fun facts about women in STEM to celebrate the holiday:

  • The first recorded woman scientist lived in 2700 BCE named Merit-Ptah who had the words “chief physician” inscribed on her tomb.
  • Maria Mitchell discovered comet C/1847 T1, aka “Miss Mitchell’s Comet”, in 1847 and was awarded a gold medal from King Frederick VI of Denmark. She was the first American woman to be a professional astronomer.
  • The first woman to earn a bachelor’s degree in engineering was Elizabeth Bragg from the University of California at Berkeley in 1876.
  • Madam Curie became the first woman to win the Nobel Prize in 1903 in Physics and won it a second time in 1911 in Chemistry. She is the only woman to have been awarded the Nobel Prize twice!
  • Decorated Navy admiral Rear Admiral Grace Hopper was one of the developers of the first computer and in 1959, helped write COBOL, a programming language primarily used in business, finance, and administrative systems.
  • Mary Jackson was an aerospace engineer at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics before it became NASA in 1958. She was NASA’s first black female engineer and managed NASA’s Office of Equal Opportunity, the Federal Women’s program, and the Affirmative Action program to advance opportunities for women at NASA.
  • The first woman to travel in space was Valentina Tereshkova in 1963 aboard the spacecraft Vostok 6.
  • Sally Ride holds many firsts in space travel – she was the first American woman, first LGBT person, and the youngest person to ever travel in space. Sally is also the only person to investigate both space shuttle disasters, Challenger and Columbia.
  • Mae Jemison became the first African American woman to travel in space in 1992 aboard the space shuttle Endeavour and the first real-life astronaut to appear on Star Trek.
  • In 1970, only 3% of engineers were women – today, women make up 16%.
  • Women make up 2/3 of Red Canyon’s Operations team!!

Want to learn more? Check out the links below!

International Day of Women and Girls in Science, 11 February

#February11 – The International Day of Women & Girls in Science

In focus: International Day of Women and Girls in Science

International Day of Women and Girls in Science

International Day of Women and Girls in Science – February 11, 2023

Women Are Nearly Half of U.S. Workforce but Only 27% of STEM Workers

The STEM Gap: Women and Girls in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

Women in STEM Statistics

Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) (Quick Take)

Who was the first woman in space?

Nobel Prize awarded women

40 Groundbreaking Facts about Female Scientists

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