Did you know that less than 30% of researchers are women? Despite more women gaining degrees in scientific disciplines, female scientists still face unequal pay, struggle to get their work published, and have slower career progression compared to their male colleagues.
This inequality demands a proactive change and is a space PhD candidate and Biochemist Chloe Kirk hopes to impact. With her unapologetic celebration and portrayal of working in STEM and actively demanding change, Chloe hopes to pave the way for future generations of female scientists.
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields as a whole are characterized as more masculine, with the very mention of the term “scientist” conjuring up an image of a white man hunched over a messy lab table, working on complex equations, or experimenting with test tubes.
This limited viewpoint could not be far from the truth – passionate scientists like Chloe demonstrate that women belong in science. Calling herself a STEMinist (STEM + Feminist) on her Instagram STEM blog, the researcher shares the highs and lows of her PhD research while also showing the wholesome side of participating in conferences, conducting experiments, and networking with fellow scientists.
Keeping up with the trends, Chloe posts fun reels documenting her life with fellow women in STEM. From celebrating the lives of older female scientists to noting the positive influence of women in science in her life, Chloe assures aspiring female researchers that science is for everyone.
Recently, she had the opportunity to be featured on TV as a “STEM Bestie” for Miranda Congrove’s Mission Unstoppable on CBS, a segment empowering women in science. She is also a part of Graduate Women in Science (GWIS) – an organization with 800 women scientists from the USA. For more informed readings and solutions, her site features articles and resources that can help women in STEM.
Explaining the reason behind such an active role in bringing change, Chloe notes, “Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) careers should be equally accessible to everyone. As a member of the STEM community, I believe it is my responsibility to be part of the change. We need to advocate for the inclusivity of all people in STEM despite our backgrounds, beliefs, and identities.”
Chloe is a true inspiration for many young girls, reassuring them that they do not have to fit into a box – science researcher, mother, baker, wife – and can explore any space they want.
You can follow Chloe on Instagram for a more detailed look at her STEM adventures.