Hello, my name is Amy, and I am a nerd.
Too often do I sigh when looking at the CEOs of top companies like Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, and Google. Even in lists, like the Top 100 CEO Leaders in STEM recently released by STEMconnector, women at the top are scarce. Granted, the male leaders of these companies have greatly reduced the stigma against nerds in general.
However, I cannot help but ask, "Ladies! Where you at?" Women hold only 4% (that's a mere 20 positions) of the Fortune 500 CEO positions. Bump it up to the Fortune 1000 list? Women hold only 4.5% of the CEO positions. In MIT, the world's head honcho Nerd school, only 31% of enrolled graduate students of 2013 are women.
There is a problem.
Though the issue is complicated and deeply rooted within human history, a large chunk lies in our lack of powerful female role models. Ask the average American the name of a female CEO, and he/she will probably look blankly back at you.
I won't be dismissive and say that people like Tina Fey and Ellen Degeneres are not incredible role models, but celebrities provide a much different type of support that women in STEM or climbing the corporate ladder are able to otherwise provide.
It is already socially accepted for women to delve into the humanities, in areas like writing or entertainment. Now is the time to break societal norms and bring up that women percentage in the Fortune 500 list!
Cameron Russell, seasoned model and TED speaker (you should totally check her talk out), phrased it perfectly when she asks young girls why they want to be models: "You know, you can be anything. You could be the President of the United States or the inventor of the next Internet or a ninja cardio-thoracic surgeon poet, which would be awesome because you would be the first one."
Ladies embrace your nerdhood! Nerdhood has evolved from the socially awkward, pocket protector stereotype to a more exclusive culture. More and more often do we hear the word "well rounded" tossed around. "Nerd" now indicates a group of people who are intelligent, athletic, and socially adept wearing sexy hipster glasses.
On a different level, it also indicates a group of people passionate and skilled in a single area, like research, or a sport, or writing. Whatever other area you can imagine, there is a nerd there. Just be good at what you love to do.
Hello, my name is Amy and I am a neuroscience nerd, swimming nerd, DIY nerd, 3D printing nerd, slam poetry nerd, TEDxRutgers nerd, and die hard Whovian. I am a nerd. Are you?
Follow Amy S. Chen on Twitter: www.twitter.com/TheAmyDance