Back in the beginning of January, I got a message from Jennifer Thorpe-Moscon on Facebook asking if I would be interested doing an interview for book she was writing for young women interested in geeky pursuits. Something to encourage them to follow the dreams despite the adversity they would face. I did a bit of quick Googling to make sure it wasn’t a scam of some sort, and jumped on the opportunity.
This kind of opportunity means a lot to me. I did a report on robotics in high school, and interviewed the Chair of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University-Indianapolis about designing robots, and what goes into such pursuits. A few weeks after the interview, I received a care package in the mail full of information about women in engineering. There were school specific organization pamphlets, various admission information, and scholarship information. There was also a book full of profiles of women who worked every major sector of engineering. I poured over that book multiple times. I found it fascinating. Not only did it inform me of careers I didn’t know existed, it made being a girl in this world seem normal. Being asked to be a part of that experience for someone else was something I could not say no to.
Fast forward to now, and promotion for the book, How Geek Girls Will Rule the World, has started. I’m getting a look at the women I’m going to be featured with, and I am absolutely floored. I don’t know exactly what I was expecting. I was expecting something like I had gotten back in high school. Profiles of women who just did typical work in various STEM fields. I was wrong. The women featured are anything but typical. There’s Susan Landau who is a cyber security expert who has testified about the risks of wiretapping to House Judiciary Committee. There’s Gabrielle Bell who has had comics selected as the “Best American Comics” anthology in multiple years. There’s Ruzena Bajcsy who has received multiple awards for her work including the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence Allen Newell Award. I could go on and on. These women are anything but typical. To be included among them is nothing short of a honor.
I highly recommend you check out the Facebook page for this upcoming book. Forward it on to the young women in your life. And when the book comes out next month, pick them up a copy Let them see there are women thriving in this segment of the world. Hopefully, the will be inspired to follow their passion.