Women in STEAM
Video Highlights (Interviews)
Why do I Draw Women of Color as STEM Professionals?
Despite a recent increase in STEM degrees earned by underrepresented individuals, the representation of women of color in the workplace is lower when compared to their representation in the population. (Visit https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/wmpd to learn more about Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering). Another example of underrepresentation can be seen by performing an online search for images of a "scientist". While the search displays somewhat diverse result images, Black women and women of color are overwhelmingly underrepresented. And, their representation is almost non-existent as you start searching online for specific fields, like ecology and geology. In response to the lack of images of Black women and women of color in the STEM fields, I make art where they are overrepresented (at least in my portfolio).
For me, it is important to represent women in STEM because you cannot be what you cannot see. Now, I do not mean that by making images of women in STEM I am pushing these careers to young girls. Rather, they serve as options for what is possible. Personally, when I am interested in something, be it a movie, a song, or even my passion for diversity, it is because I recognized a bit of my identity in it. I like to relax and laugh a lot, so I mostly watch comedies. I like to dance, so I like fast-paced loud music. I am a Latina in STEM, so I work to amplify our presence. It was the same as I made my decision on what profession to pursue. I had my mother’s image as a role model to follow. But, I recognize that not everyone has a person or an image they can identify and follow. Knowing there are women currently working and being successful in all STEM fields sends a message of possibilities and empowerment. This is also true for the women who currently work these fields. For them, images of women in STEM send a message of inclusiveness. Ultimately, creating images of women in STEM sends a message of belonging. In summary, representation matters.