Women Leaders In STEM

The fields of science and technology, engineering, and math (STEM), have been dominated for centuries by men. While women hold 24 percent of these jobs, a new generation is determined to reduce the gender gap and offer new opportunities for girls to participate in STEM.

Sabina London

Sabina London founded STEM You Can! (formerly known as Girls Science Interactive) when she was 15 years old. It was originally a summer camp for middle and elementary school students, but it was expanded to include high-school girls in 2014.

The STEM You Can! program allows young women to participate in interactive, fun experiments on global warming and space exploration. 

Cassidy Williams

Cassidy Williams was a math and engineering enthusiast growing up. In middle school, a neighbor taught her how to create a website. This was when she first became interested in coding. Williams continued her education at Iowa State University in computer programming, where she was awarded multiple hackathons for her software products.

Williams said she had encountered unkind people with old stereotypes about what a developer “should” look like. Williams still participates in hackathons across the country and provides a much-needed representation of women.

Williams is now the head of Developer Voice Programs for Amazon. She works on programs like Alexa. Williams hopes to inspire and motivate the next generation of female coders through her work.

Samantha John

Samantha John was an engineer in college. However, she discovered a love for programming during her senior year at Columbia University. After graduating from college, she co-founded Hopscotch, a learn-to-code app. It is the first program for children that was designed for touch-screen devices.

John was frustrated by the lack of programming opportunities for girls, so she created Hopscotch to address this gap. Hopscotch has helped children design 26 million games.

Pooja Chandrashekar

Pooja Chandrashekar, the daughter of two engineers, has been familiar with the importance of STEM since a very young age. After discovering her passion for computer science in high school, she realized that few women were in her class. Chandrashekar, in her second year of high school, founded ProjectCSGIRLS. This is a competition for middle-school girls interested in tech and computer science.

ProjectCSGIRLS empowers teen girls worldwide, with chapters in Nigeria and India. Its international and national programs have reached 7,000 middle school girls in 40 states and five other countries.

Sasha Ariel Alston

Sasha Ariel Alston studied technology in high school in Washington, D.C. She then interned for Microsoft, where she created her first gaming app. She noticed that not many women were in STEM clubs and classes, especially not many women of color.

Alston self-published the children’s book Sasha Savvy loves to code to inspire young girls. It was published last year.


Women already in STEM face an uphill battle because they’re often paid less than their male counterparts and face barriers to advancement. But new research shows that women are still entering STEM fields in large numbers — it’s just that most don’t stay long enough for their careers to take off. Medical industry insights help monitor how women are growing in certain STEM careers.

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