Social good

Celebrating women in STEM

Learn about the contributions of women who are pushing boundaries and defying odds to become pioneers in science and technology.

Here, we celebrate women exploring new frontiers in STEM—often as unsung heroes. Learn about their journeys and the role models who encouraged them; discover how they’re smashing stereotypes and helping others follow in their footsteps; and find out why their diverse viewpoints are so important for inspiring innovation.

If you see it, you can be it

A chemistry professor from the University of Texas who loves explosions. An Xbox executive who believes gaming can unite us all. The head of Halo Gaming Studio who creates new worlds. They’re passionate. They’re successful. And they’re all women who came together on behalf of DigiGirlz, a Microsoft program that gives girls opportunities to learn about careers in STEM and participate in hands-on workshops. Together, they imagined new possibilities for their future and ignited the room with excitement—literally.

Blowing up STEM stereotypes—in high heels

A professor at the University of Texas, Dr. Kate Biberdorf (aka Kate the Chemist) is “breaking stereotypes and blowing stuff up”—all in the name of making science fun and accessible. As a scientist who’s “bubbly” and “loves high heels,” she’s passionate about helping girls be who they are while pursuing their dreams.

This passion has given her a platform—from breathing fire on The Colbert Show to demoing mind-blowing experiments for Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls to delivering a TEDx talk—to help students discover their own love for STEM.

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Imagining a world where gaming unites us all

Sarah Bond, Head of Global Gaming Partnerships and Business Development at Xbox, is changing the face of gaming. She’s making it more global, incorporating artificial intelligence, and advocating for diversity in tech—a passion that stems from her own journey. When Sarah walked into a computer science class in college, she realized she was the only woman of color—and she felt everyone staring at her like she didn’t belong.

That’s why Sarah was drawn to gaming and its power to bring people together: “Gaming is the only media form where two people who’ve never met, don’t speak the same language, and might have different abilities can actually have a shared experience.”

Creating bold new worlds

Bonnie Ross, the studio head of the Halo franchise, is one of the most powerful women in gaming. It all started with her passion for art, technology, and storytelling. Today, she creates new worlds and blockbuster games in the Halo universe with diverse characters that challenge norms and stereotypes.

She knows what it’s like to be the only woman in the room, from studying computer science in college to growing through the ranks as a game developer at Microsoft, where she started a Women in Gaming community. She recently partnered with She Can STEM and was interviewed on 60 Minutes about closing the tech industry’s gender gap.

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I really do believe if you can see it, you can be it. We need to have diversity in more management and leadership positions because diversity attracts diversity, which I think is incredibly important, especially in a creative space.

Bonnie Ross, Studio head of the Halo franchise

Today, there’s a wealth of resources for students who want to start making a more inclusive world through STEM—and it doesn’t require working at a big tech company or having a national platform to get an idea off the ground. Continue on to learn more about two sisters who started a robotics movement in their high school.

Delaney and sister Kendall holding a robot.
Delaney Foster speaking on diversity

Robots for everyone

As captain of her high school robotics team, Delaney Foster set out to create a robotics club that could include her sister Kendall, who has an intellectual disability.

In 2015, she came up with the idea for a robotics team based on the concept of unified sports, which brings together people with and without intellectual disabilities to compete together. Today, with 50 teams across seven states, Unified Robotics has become a game-changer for students with special needs.

And Delaney, now a junior in college, is gearing up to pursue a career in developing assistive technologies that help people of all abilities realize their full potential. “It’s important that any team, company, classroom, or school that strives to be inclusive, remembers to include people with different abilities,” she says. “We can learn so much from each other.”

Find out more about Unified Robotics

Role models in STEM can come from all backgrounds, ages, and eras—from Delaney Foster to Dr. Mae Jemison to Marie Curie. These women have all had to overcome adversity to pursue their passion and make meaningful contributions. Learn more about their stories of innovation and inspiration.

Photos of Nobel Laureate women who changed science
Illuminating the discoveries of Nobel Prize-winning women
Discover the journeys and stories of perseverance behind 19 Nobel Prize-winning breakthroughs in Women who changed science. This interactive experience weaves together biographies, images, archival video footage, and the laureates’ own words to bring their contributions to life.  From Rita Levi-Montalcini to Barbara McClintock to Tu Youyou, engage with these luminaries in a way that’s never been possible before.
Celebrating the women who defy gravity
Dr. Mae Jemison, the first woman of color in space, recently joined forces with Smithsonian and The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum to create a mixed reality experience that shares her own journey while showcasing the unsung women of the US space program and their critical innovations.
Young woman experiencing Hololens
INCLUSION IN ACTION
Make What's Next
When we encourage girls to pursue STEM, we double the potential to change the world for the better. Learn about exciting opportunities to help grow the next generation of makers and doers.
Girls in classroom as part of DigiGirlz
Girls in classroom as part of DigiGirlz

Learn about careers in tech at a DigiGirlz event near you

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Girls working on computers in classroom environment
Girls working on computers in classroom environment

Be part of the Girls Who Code movement

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Image from Black Girls Code
Image from Black Girls Code

Join the Black Girls Code community to get inspired and find an event in a city near you.

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Three women talking at the 2018 Women in Gaming rally
Three women talking at the 2018 Women in Gaming rally

Get connected with women that are working to ensure that gaming is truly for everyone.

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