By Aubrey Drohner, Mackenzie Morey, & Meghan Finger
For decades, academics have pushed the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) field onto students. However, women pursuing a STEM-related career were often overlooked. At the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay, two student-led organizations have created a supportive space for women studying STEM.
The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay has made an effort to end the long-existing stigma that men are the dominating gender when it comes to the technology field. Women in Technology on Campus started in 2018 and has grown ever since. Currently, WIT on Campus has roughly 8-10 members who participate in the organization. Women in Technology continues to guide women in the right direction for their future careers.
Emily Sawall, President of Women in Technology on Campus, explains the impact WIT on Campus has on the women that are involved. Sawall says, “It does bring a sense of empowerment because we team together, we have each other’s backs, and it empowers us through strength and numbers.”
When it comes to empowering women within the STEM field, Sawall stresses the importance of these movements to reach out to young girls and let them know that there is room for them in tech. WIT on Campus gives women opportunities for volunteering events with girl scouts, use cosmo robots with girls after school clubs, and volunteer with girls scouts at the children’s museum.
“Don’t let anyone rob you of your imagination, your creativity, or your curiosity. It’s your place in the world; it’s your life. Go on and do all you can with it, and make it the life you want to live.” – Mae Jemison, the first African American woman astronaut in space
Allyssa Rueth, a Mechanical Engineering major, wanted to build a platform for women engineering UWGB students. She took the initiative from Linda Peacock-Landrum, Director of Career Services at UWGB, to establish a student organization for women academically pursuing engineering, known as Women in Engineering. Rueth is hopeful of gaining momentum, “Women in Engineering is working to become affiliated with Society of Women in Engineering, a local organization that supports college STEM groups.” Guest speakers who specialize in this field have come to Women in Engineering events and shared their STEM experiences. Rueth says that the organization is looking forward to volunteering with local STEM groups like the 4H program and Einstein Project. These two programs involve hands-on interaction with science, engineering, and other math lessons. Hopefully, soon, the opportunity to network will give members some advantages in obtaining internships or jobs.
“There is strong interest for women who work in technology to get connected with other individuals and to see the value of working with other young women and girls to pursue careers in technology.” – Linda Peacock-Landrum, Director of Career Services at UWGB
Within the past few years, the number of women in STEM has increased, but there is still plenty of room for growth. There is a place for young women in the STEM profession. These two student organizations are opening doors for all women in STEM.