International Day of Women and Girls in Science, February 11, is an annual observance that celebrates the achievements and contributions of women and girls around the globe in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Today, we recognize the importance of gender equality and the empowerment of women in the scientific community through sharing the stories of our CLS alumnae in STEM. Learn more about their academic and career paths and why they believe society needs more women in STEM by reading below or watching here. Check out more stories recognizing International Day of Women and Girls in Science on the UN’s website.
Are you a CLS alumni working in the STEM field interested in being featured in an upcoming article on the importance of critical languages in STEM careers? Tell us how you’ve found critical language learning vital in your field by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: CLS + STEM Careers.
Anna Kozan (CLS Spark Russian 2023)
Major: Spanish & Iberian Studies and Nursing
"I think it's super important that women pursue careers in STEM, and I want to speak for healthcare, because we have women and girls as our patients. They might feel seen and empathized with because their provider is a woman. But maybe some patients want a career in health care, but they feel scared. When they women and girls becoming doctors becoming nurses, becoming respiratory therapists, whatever it may be, they feel represented. They feel like if she could do it, I can do it. So it's not only to make our patients feel comforted and protected, but to also raise up the next generation of women in health care.”
Tianna Burke (CLS Portuguese 2023)
Occupation: Mathematics student
"My career aspirations are to either be a professor -- ideally at an HBCU [historically black college or university] -- or to do applied math research at a national lab. It's important to have more women pursue careers in STEM because STEM research and technology affects everyone's lives and having women in STEM ensures that the technology of tomorrow acknowledges and respects women."
Zion Shih (CLS Chinese 2022)
Major: Neurobiology and Neurosciences
Occupation: Medical student, aspiring physician-scientist
"We live in a multidisciplinary world so working collaboratively requires clear communication. By speaking multiple languages, we can better understand each other when sharing ideas. STEM majors with multi language capabilities will be bridge builders who advance science to improve the human condition.”
Angela Sun (CLS Spark Chinese 2022 and CLS Chinese 2023)
Occupation: Biomedical researcher and medical student
“Especially from the perspective of medicine and biomedical research, I think it is so important that more women get involved in STEM careers, because it ultimately helps promote health equity. For example, women are still more likely to die of heart disease than men in part because for so long, the treatment diagnostic standards are based only on what the diseases looked like in men. So having more women in STEM careers can help prevent something like this from continuing. Health equity is also my motivation from my study of foreign languages. Around 8% of the people in the U.S. are limited English proficient, which translates to a whopping 25.7 million people. Moreover, there is a consistent shortage of medical interpreters. So hospitals are frequently relying on tools like Google translate. Obviously, this is far from ideal, and can have significant negative impacts on the quality of care that such patients receive and the trust that they have overall in the health care system. It is my goal to eventually work as a multilingual physician towards making healthcare more accessible, effective and comfortable for these patients.”