Jobs in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) are projected to increase at more than double the rate of the entire U.S. labor force, according to a recent STEMconnector report. These seven women of color are helping to bridge the gender gap in the STEM field and are having fun along the way.
1. Oyama Matomela
Location: South Africa
Oyama is the first female commercial pilot to be awarded a Department of Roads and Transport bursary.Along her journey of success, she has broken barriers in the male-dominant pilot industry. At 19 she completed her studies and obtained her private pilot and commercial license with the internationally acclaimed 43 Air school in Port Alfred. She is now a 24 year old pilot in the Eastern Cape province in South Africa.
Learn more about her story here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aj_zrBiYFgs
2. Lisette Titre
Career: Video Game Designer
Location: San Francisco, California
Lisette Titre-Montgomery is a video game developer. Lisette has contributed to some of the industry’s highest profile games, including Tiger Woods Golf, The Simpsons, Dante’s Inferno, Dance Central 3, SIMS4, and Transformers Age Of Extinction for Android and iOS. Are you interested in game design? Visit her website for a list of Basic Game Design Principles and helpful resources to get started.
3. Ayanna Howard
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
In 2003, Ayanna was named as one of MIT Technology Review TR100’s top 100 innovators in the world under the age of 35.She was featured in TIME magazine’s “Rise of the Machines” article in 2004. In 2008, Howard received worldwide attention for her SnoMote robots, designed to study the impact of global warming on the Antarctic ice shelves. Check out her TED talk “Make Robots Smarter”
4. Kimberly Bryant
Career: Electrical Engineer & Founder of “Black Girls Code”
Location: San Francisco, California
Kimberly Bryant built a successful career in the biotechnology field at Genentech, Novartis Vaccines, Diagnostics, and Merck. Yet it was memory of feeling isolated in her freshman Electrical Engineering course that inspired her to found Black Girls Code when her own daughter expressed an interest in computer programming. Black Girls CODE is a top technology education nonprofit focusing on teaching girls ages 6-17 from underrepresented communities skills in computer programming and technology. Learn more about their annual Black Girls Code Hackathon on their website www.blackgirlscode.com and follow them on twitter @BlackGirlsCode
5. Dr. Ashanti Johnson
Career: Geochemist, Chemical Oceanographer & President of Institute
for Broadening Participation
Location: Damariscotta, ME
In her “Women Exploring Oceans” interview, Dr. Johnson reveals how she initially became interested in the oceans by watching Jacques Cousteau and how that interest was strengthened after interacting with a female marine biology graduate student who spent a day with Ashanti, then a fifth grader, discussing the oceans. Dr. Johnson still cherishes the childhood memory of that summer day and has throughout her college and professional career frequently shared her interest in the oceans with children, teachers, community leaders, college students and federal government officials. Dr. Johnson reflects on her early interest in STEM in this interview.
6. Aprille Ericsson-Jackson
Career: Nasa Aerospace Engineer
Location: Washington, DC
Aprille is the first female to receive a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Howard University and the first African-American female to receive a Ph.D. in engineering at
the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Ericsson is currently part of a mission team to bring dust back from Mars for examination. Listen to her speech about never giving up at the SEED DC commencement in 2013.
7. TeLisa Daughtry
Career: Designer, Developer, Social Entrepreneur & Founder of Fly Technista
Location: Brooklyn, NY
TeLisa is the founder of FlyTechnista, a Brooklyn-based start up whose mission is to equip millennial women & girls to become confident creators & innovators of technology. Sign up for their mailing to receive updates on their 2016 beta launch http://www.flytechnista.org/ . Follow them on twitter @FlyTechnista
So there you have it: 7 amazing black women who made significant contributions to their respective STEM field! Comment down below on who you think is the most amazing.