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Making STEM Personal: Introducing the Women @ Energy Series

March 18, 2013 - 11:53am


Graphic by <a href="">Sarah Gerrity</a>.

Graphic by Sarah Gerrity.

Occupations in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) are among the fastest growing job sectors – offering top paying positions and a host of opportunities. On top of all that, STEM jobs are passports to changing the world through innovation and discovery.

In celebration of Women’s History Month, we’re launching a new feature -- Women @ Energy -- showcasing talented and dedicated employees at the Energy Department who work to change the world – ensuring America’s security and prosperity through transformative science and technology solutions.

Women @ Energy profiles women across the country who share insights on what inspired them to work in STEM, what excites them about their work at the Energy Department, and what we can do to engage more underrepresented groups in STEM.

The trailblazers featured in our series – working at our headquarters, field offices and our National Laboratories -- have varying reasons for launching STEM careers but all were supported along the way by mentors and role models in their lives.

Julie Segal, an engineer at SLAC, wanted to be like Jane Goodall when she grew up. Aindrila Mukhopadhyay, a scientist at Lawrence Berkley National Lab, was inspired by her high school chemistry student tutor. Kawtar Hafidi, an experimental physicist at Argonne National Laboratory, had the backing of her dad emotionally and financially as he supported her in school. Amber Boehnlein, a computing expert at SLAC, idolized Roger Bacon -- wanting to grow up to be a Franciscan friar and study nature with the scientific method. As for me – I sparked an interest in engineering when my 10th grade teacher Ms. Crum took us to Savannah River National Laboratory on a class field trip.

In the same way that our Women @ Energy participants were inspired to pursue careers in STEM, we hope the stories shared here can inspire you and those you know. With women still vastly underrepresented in STEM occupations – representing just 25 percent of the workforce – there’s still much we can do to encourage young women to seize the opportunities available in these fields. In the meantime, we will continue to share our stories on how our STEM careers have greatly impacted us.

You can find the full series of STEM profiles on our Women @ Energy page