Meteorology is a science, and the women who study it and report their findings on TV aren’t “weather girls.” They’re scientists.
Unfortunately, women meteorologists are still too often referred to dismissively as “weather girls.”
“I don’t think people realize how many times I do get called that today,” Weather Channel meteorologist Jen Carfagno said in a Facebook live discussion. “You just let it roll off your shoulders.”
Carfagno took part in an episode of The Weather Channel’s “Weather Geeks” entitled “Don’t Call Me Weather Girl.” Hosted by University of Georgia Prof. Marshall Shepherd, Carfagno was joined by WNBC chief meteorologist Janice Huff and Ginger Zee, chief meteorologist at ABC News.
“The fact that two of our guests are chief meteorologists is rare in itself (sadly),” Shepherd wrote in a blog post about the episode. “Check the numbers on female chief meteorologists around the nation. It’s pretty pathetic.”
The problem is not just a matter of using the proper name. As the four discussed, it’s also about providing role models to young girls who are interested in science.
“There’s a big disparity on the general population versus how many people are in the geosciences, and men still dominate,” Huff said. The challenge, she added, was keeping girls engaged so they stay in science programs.
Having positive role models, the scientists agreed, can only help.
“Let’s abolish the term ‘weather girl,’” Shepherd concluded. “Respect these women for what they are: scientists.”
Check out the preview clip above, or watch the full discussion on Mashable.
This story has been updated to clarify Prof. Shepherd’s title.