Charlotte

Charlotte teaches math and science for grades 9-12. As a kid, Charlotte wanted to be a dentist, and her favorite subject in high school was literature. She went on to earn her B.S., M.S., and Ph.D in Chemistry. One of her favorite things about her job now is solving challenging problems and explaining them to others. Charlotte particularly loves science, and remarks on how useful a background of science is, no matter your career choice, as well as how many current societal issues, such as Covid-19, are science based or related. Some advice she would give to girls interested in STEM is

"Do what you want to do to please yourself, not for anyone else or any other criteria"

When asked if she personally, or anyone she knew had experienced discrimination in the STEM field, Charlotte answered, "I think STEM female faculty at universities have to work much harder than their male colleagues to establish credibility and gain status in their careers. I've heard horrible stories about how college students of female STEM faculty disrespect and demean their female professors in ways they never would do if their professors were male. This I have heard in recent times, but, I witnessed it firsthand when I was a college student in the 1980's. Times have not changed much, and, all college students need to take a stand in challenging their classmates if and when they disrespect their female STEM faculty. We all need to be leaders to stand up to college students disrespecting faculty of any gender or ethnic background. I wish I had taken a stand against my classmates in 1987 when I witnessed my male classmates brutally and disrespectfully making fun of and mimicking the Russian accent of our female math professor. I did nothing while they behaved in this way in front of her in class and I am ashamed to this day that I did nothing. I feel that women college students today would be more assertive than I was in 1987 and would insist that their male classmates stop this abusive, disrespectful behavior. The important question to ask is this: would the students be behaving this way if the professor were male? In my experience, the answer is always no". It is important to stand up against issues like these. The more people stand up for and encourage girls pursuing STEM, rather than bringing them down, the more the STEM community will become a more welcoming place for women to thrive.

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Diane

Deputy Director at NOAA Global Monitoring Laboratory