Category Archives: Education

4 Inspiring Technology Leaders Who Beat the Odds to Find Success

4 Inspiring Technology Leaders Who Beat the Odds to Find Success

How can we encourage more diversity in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, also known as STEM? The largest percentage of workers in these fields is made up of white males, but now, many companies are trying to achieve a more diverse workforce. One way to reach this goal is to highlight individuals from underrepresented groups who can serve as role models of achieving success in STEM.

Those from underrepresented groups who want to pursue a technical profession can look to the following people for inspiration:

 

Erica Baker

Erica Baker
Image by Tech Crunch | Flickr

Erica Baker has had to overcome racism on her path to success in STEM. Baker is currently senior engineering manager at Patreon, but as an African-American woman, her road to this position was not always easy. In her blog on Medium, Baker reveals how difficult it was for her to be sometimes the only African-American person in the workplace over the course of her career. She often felt she had to put up with racist jokes, comments, and attitudes in order to avoid being ostracized at work. She also had to cope with feeling isolated and alone due to cultural differences and sensibilities.

Despite these challenges, Baker has found success at some of the most prominent tech companies in the United States, including Google, Slack, and Patreon. Also heavily involved in providing opportunities for the next generation of African-American girls to pursue tech careers, she serves on the board of directors of Girl Develop It and is a tech mentor with Black Girls Code. Additionally, she has won several awards for her efforts to promote diversity in the technical workforce.

 

Vinod Dham

 

Vinod Dham
Image by Wikipedia

Vinod Dham struggled through poverty to reach success. Born in India, he came to the United States in 1975 in his mid-20’s with only $8 in his wallet. A contact at the University of Cincinnati where he was earning his master’s degree loaned him $125 so he could put a down payment on an apartment, pay the first month’s premium for his health insurance, and buy some food. After that, he earned $325 per month as a research assistant, out of which he repaid the loan at a rate of $25 per month until it was paid off.

From these humble beginnings, Dham went on to join Intel Corporation, today one of the world’s largest computer technology companies. At Intel, Dham worked on a team developing flash memory, and he also helped develop microprocessors, including the widely-used Pentium processor. Later, with his earnings from his work in computer technology, Dham became a venture capitalist, focusing his investments on developing collaborations between American companies and the technical workforce in India.

 

William Hewlett

 

William_Hewlett
Image by Wikipedia

William Hewlett, co-founder of the powerhouse computing company Hewlett-Packard (HP), overcame a learning disability on his way to achieving success. Born in 1913 at a time when learning disabilities were little understood, Hewlett struggled with writing assignments in his schooling. This learning difference would be diagnosed as dyslexia, but Hewlett excelled at math and science, disciplines that allowed him to use his strong memorization skills.

Despite his learning difficulties, Hewlett graduated from Stanford University with a bachelor’s and a master’s, and from MIT with a master’s. In 1938, he and classmate and friend David Packard started an electronics company in a professor’s garage, and HP was launched. The company made its first sale to Walt Disney, and the success has continued ever since. HP is now one of the largest technology companies in the world.

 

Grace Hopper

 

Grace M. Hopper
Image by Wikipedia

Rear Admiral Grace Hopper was a groundbreaking computer programmer. As a woman, she belonged to a well-known underrepresented group in the STEM fields. Despite making up half of American society, women make up only a small percentage of the workforce in STEM fields. During WWII, when Hopper joined the US Navy Reserves, a larger percentage of women were employed in STEM fields to replace the men deployed overseas. After the war ended, though, women were not expected to continue in technical workplaces, yet Hopper did.

Hopper is known for her work on the first computers, as well as her work developing the first computer languages. Notably, she developed the first computer language based on the English language rather than on numbers, a trend that continues today. In her lifetime, Hopper was awarded the National Medal of Technology, the United States’ highest honor in the technical fields, and she was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States, for her contributions to computer science.

Top Science Museums around the Country Support STEM Education

Top Science Museums around the Country Support STEM Education

Education in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) has been a national priority for several years now. Beyond the public school systems, many of the country’s science museums are also working to provide STEM education opportunities for their communities. These museums provide access to science education for the general public, including youth… Continue Reading

3 of the Best STEM Programs for High School Students Who Are Visually Impaired

3 of the Best STEM Programs for High School Students Who Are Visually Impaired

One troubling aspect about the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)  field is its lack of diversity. Much attention is paid to the gender gap in STEM fields, as well as the underrepresentation of non-Asian minorities, but another important demographic to consider when diversifying the STEM workforce is people with disabilities. In fact, the National… Continue Reading

3 Successful Mathematicians Who Persevered Despite Hardship

3 Successful Mathematicians Who Persevered Despite Hardship

The workforce in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) suffers from a shortage of women and non-Asian minorities. According to a recent report by the Pew Research Center, women are underrepresented in most STEM fields except for the health professions. Additionally, blacks make up only 9 percent of the STEM work force,… Continue Reading

Spotlight – You Need to Know about These STEM Programs at Art Museums

Spotlight – You Need to Know about These STEM Programs at Art Museums

When most people think about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), they don’t think about creativity. In fact, one of the most common myths about STEM education is that it doesn’t involve creativity. One reason for this misconception is that when people think about the typical characteristics of STEM subjects, they often think about following… Continue Reading

EHTP Benefit Gala Raises a Record $4 Million for Youth in Need

EHTP Benefit Gala Raises a Record $4 Million for Youth in Need

The East Harlem Tutorial Program (EHTP) hosted its 60th Anniversary Benefit on May 21, 2018, at New York City’s American Museum of Natural History. The annual gala honors those involved in EHTP’s mission to raise college graduation rates among East Harlem’s youth. This year’s gala raised $4 million and drew 600 guests, which are both… Continue Reading

Important Research on the Role Parents Play in Children’s STEM Success

Important Research on the Role Parents Play in Children’s STEM Success

Proficiency in STEM skills is seen as a key component for success in the 21st century workplace. Yet observers note an achievement gap in STEM education and careers, with white males leading the way and members of other groups falling behind. This issue is so troubling that the US Department of Education has set achieving… Continue Reading

13 Award-Winning STEM Picture Books for Young Children You Need to Know about

13 Award-Winning STEM Picture Books for Young Children You Need to Know about

Employment in STEM fields does not reflect the diversity of American society; white males in these fields outnumber women and non-Asian minorities. A report by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission explains that despite a growing number of high-tech job opportunities, it is mostly white males who are benefitting from this job growth, especially at… Continue Reading

3 Notable Engineers Who Overcame Obstacles

3 Notable Engineers Who Overcame Obstacles

Dedicated to supporting people in need who are interested in pursuing careers in engineering, Phillips Charitable Organization provides financial aid to enable students to further their education and obtain STEM degrees. STEM, which stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, is a priority in America’s educational system. For those with STEM majors, it is inspiring… Continue Reading

Spotlight on 7 Groups That Encourage Women to Pursue STEM Majors

Spotlight on 7 Groups That Encourage Women to Pursue STEM Majors

Over the last few years, many studies have shown a gender gap in STEM fields. Publicity about this gender gap has brought attention to the fact that fewer women than men are working in STEM-related jobs. Such a situation is worrisome for many reasons. Among them is the lost potential that the gender gap represents.… Continue Reading