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Social Movement in Action: Putting More Women in STEM Careers

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Encouraging women to join the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) workforce has become an important social movement that many hope will bring about significant change in STEM fields, where women are underrepresented.

We can see that movement in action this week at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), where a statue by Chicago artist Julie Rotblatt-Amrany was erected in celebration of women studying engineering. According to UIUC, the statue, which depicts a female student, is called The Quintessential Engineer, and was the brainchild of UIUC electrical engineering graduate student Sakshi Srivastava.

Image: The Quintessential Engineer. Credit: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

“I stumbled across an article about how public art conveys the sentiments of a community,” Srivastava said in a statement. “I realized that having a statue erected can show our commitment to younger students that we endorse their dreams.”

Tangible social action gives credit to the hard work of female STEM students and professionals. Engineers Week, and DiscoverE, for example, celebrated women in engineering in February with Girl Day 2017, a campaign to introduce girls to the world of engineering. And in Australia, a new program, called Superstars of STEM, was just launched to break the stereotypical portrait of people in STEM careers. The program from Science and Technology Australia will identify and work with 30 superstar women in STEM to create role models for young women and girls.

At PennWell, we celebrate women in the energy industry with the Power Generation Week Woman of the Year Award to help draw attention to the women who are leaders in the energy field and to inspire more women to enter the energy industry.

Every year, the Women in Power committee selects three finalists for the Woman of the Year Award from a list of women who are nominated by industry peers. Nominations for the 2017 Woman of the Year Award are now open, and we want to hear from you. Any woman who works in the power industry may be nominated. Click here to nominate a successful woman you know.