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The Value of Brave Women in STEM

The Value of Brave Women in STEM

Presented as the Keynote Talk at WE-STEM Symposium at Eastern Washington University in Cheney, WA.

Diversity brings so many important benefits to the world of STEM. While history hasn’t always highlighted the contributions made specifically by the women who came before us, their impact is just as powerful. I’ll share stories of some of these brave, intelligent women in STEM along with my own journey in tech. The road for women in STEM isn’t the smoothest and can have obstacles along the way but there is tremendous value generated by those brave enough to travel it.


Rebecca Long

March 06, 2020


  1. The Value of Brave Women in STEM Rebecca Long |

    @amaya30 Future Ada, President & Founder | @futureada WE-STEM Eastern Washington University March 6, 2020
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  5. Game Plan • My background • Obstacles along the road

    • Women in STEM who have and are doing awesome things • How to follow these other great women in STEM for our own success rebecca long|@amaya30|we-stem
  6. My background rebecca long|@amaya30|we-stem

  7. Who am I? • Rebecca Long / @amaya30 • Eastern

    Washington University Double Alum in Computer Science • EWU Inspirational Young Alumni 2018 • 15 years in software engineering • Founder & President of Future Ada rebecca long|@amaya30|we-stem
  8. My Path Industry Quality Assurance DevOps Graduate EWU Computer Science

    Grace Hopper Conference Undergrad EWU Computer Science Google Workshop for Women Engineers Homeschooled Running Start – SCC Web Development rebecca long|@amaya30|we-stem
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  10. Obstacles Encountered Sexism Discrimination Stereotype threat & Implicit / Unconscious

    bias Double competence Credit given to others Less collaboration Lack of mentorship Imposter syndrome Feeling alone rebecca long|@amaya30|we-stem
  11. “ ” “If you were more positive, you’d be seen

    as technical.” rebecca long|@amaya30|we-stem
  12. “ ” “I need you to do self-reflection on why

    you need to be recognized for your work. Seems like an ego thing.” rebecca long|@amaya30|we-stem
  13. My Push Back • Spokane based 501c3 non-profit advocating for

    diversity & inclusion in STEAM • Founded in 2017 • Named after Ada Lovelace • Formed to help support diverse folk & advocate for inclusion in science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics rebecca long|@amaya30|we-stem
  14. Brave Women Pushing Boundaries rebecca long|@amaya30|we-stem

  15. Ada Lovelace • 1815-1852 • Famous mathematician • Worked with

    Charles Babbage • First computer programmer rebecca long|@amaya30|we-stem
  16. “ ” “Imagination is the discovering faculty, pre-eminently. It is

    that which penetrates into the unseen worlds around us, the worlds of science.” Ada Lovelace rebecca long|@amaya30|we-stem
  17. Marie Curie • 1867-1934 • Polish & naturalized French physicist

    & chemist • Won two Nobel Peace Prizes • Discovered 2 elements: polonium and radium • Research was of vital importance in the development of x-rays rebecca long|@amaya30|we-stem
  18. “ ” “I was taught that the way of progress

    is neither swift nor easy.” Marie Curie rebecca long|@amaya30|we-stem
  19. Grace Hopper • 1906-1992 • Navy Admiral & Computer Scientist

    • Invented first computer compiler • Coined the word computer “bug” • Created COBOL, the first complex computer language rebecca long|@amaya30|we-stem
  20. “ ” “People are allergic to change. You have to

    get out and sell the idea.” Grace Hopper rebecca long|@amaya30|we-stem
  21. Katherine Johnson • 1918-2020 • American physicist & mathematician •

    Calculated the flight path for the first manned mission to the moon • Won the NASA Lunar Orbiter Award & the NASA Special Achievement Award rebecca long|@amaya30|we-stem
  22. “ ” “[The other women] didn’t ask questions or take

    the task any further. I asked questions; I wanted to know why. They got used to me asking questions and being the only woman there.” Katherine Johnson rebecca long|@amaya30|we-stem
  23. Rosalind Franklin • 1920-1958 • English chemist & X-ray crystallographer

    • Pioneered research on the tobacco mosaic virus & polio • Discovered the DNA double helix • Made important contributions to the understanding of molecular structures of DNA, viruses, graphite and coal rebecca long|@amaya30|we-stem
  24. “ ” “Science and everyday life cannot and should not

    be separated.” Rosalind Franklin rebecca long|@amaya30|we-stem
  25. Our Value rebecca long|@amaya30|we-stem

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  28. Keeping Women in Focus • Diverse individuals bring diverse perspectives

    to the table • Women allow women’s lives and women’s problems to stay in focus rebecca long|@amaya30|we-stem
  29. Ritu Narayan Zum • Founder of Zum a modern ride

    service for children • Helps moms get their children safely to school and back rebecca long|@amaya30|we-stem
  30. Heidi Zak Third Love • Founder of Third Love a

    company with a mission for building a better bra rebecca long|@amaya30|we-stem
  31. How do we follow their footsteps…? rebecca long|@amaya30|we-stem

  32. “Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.”

    Brene Brown rebecca long|@amaya30|we-stem
  33. “I would like to be remembered as someone who was

    not afraid to do what she wanted to do, and as someone who took risks along the way in order to achieve her goals.” Sally Ride rebecca long|@amaya30|we-stem
  34. “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They

    somehow already know what you truly want to become.” Steve Jobs rebecca long|@amaya30|we-stem
  35. “We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves.

    We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained.” Marie Curie rebecca long|@amaya30|we-stem
  36. “To be gritty is to keep putting one foot in

    front of the other. To be gritty is to hold fast to an interesting and purposeful goal. To be gritty is to invest, day after week after year, in challenging practice. To be gritty is to fall down seven times, and rise eight.” Angela Lee Duckworth rebecca long|@amaya30|we-stem
  37. “Integrity is choosing courage over comfort; it’s choosing what is

    right over what is fun, fast, or easy; and choosing to practice our values rather than simply professing them.” Brene Brown rebecca long|@amaya30|we-stem
  38. Find a Broader Community to Join • American Association for

    University Women (AAUW) • Anita Borg Institute • Association for Women Geoscientists • Association for Women in Mathematics • Association for Women in Science • Girls Who Code • Society for Women Engineers (SWE) • Society of Women Geographers • Women Who Code rebecca long|@amaya30|we-stem
  39. Call to Action rebecca long|@amaya30|we-stem

  40. Know that… • It can be done • You can

    be successful in these fields • You deserve to be here • You deserve the opportunity to make your mark on the world through science rebecca long|@amaya30|we-stem
  41. Support Each Other • Mentor • Collaborate • Advocate •

    Volunteer & Give Back • Encourage • Raise one another's voices rebecca long|@amaya30|we-stem
  42. “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 rebecca long|@amaya30|we-stem
  43. Thank you! rebecca long|@amaya30|we-stem

  44. Connect with me! • Rebecca Long • rebecca@futureada.org • https://rebeccalong.tech

    • Social: @amaya30 • Future Ada • hello@futureada.org • https://futureada.org • Social: @futureada rebecca long|@amaya30|we-stem