One woman’s campaign to give black female scientists their due on Wikipedia and show us their faces

Vivienne Malone-Mayes. Jane Hinton. Jessie Price.

You may have never heard of these black female scientists, but one woman is looking to bring their images back to life.

With the help of Twitter, Hilda Bastian (@MissingSciFaces) has worked for the past two months to uncover pictures and stories of prominent, but under-represented scientists.

With the tales of Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson made famous by the recent book and movie Hidden Figures, Bastian hopes to spread the untold stories of many others.

So far, Bastian and the network she’s created have uncovered more than 20 pictures. She’s currently working on a larger list of scientists — of all minority backgrounds — whose photos and stories remain largely unknown.

Bastian’s inspiration came after editing various scientists’ Wikipedia pages. She began to notice there were few to no pictures of black female scientists, and if images did exist, they would be of the same few figures whose stories were already known.

Bastian decided to dedicate Black History Month in February to finding one image of a black female scientist per day. “But after a couple of days I realized that it was going to be impossible to find 28 quickly,” she said.

So Bastian’s work continued, with late nights scanning a variety of online databases, articles and obituaries. At the end of the month, she published a blog post of her progress, and watched as interest grew. After writing a guide on finding images and avoiding copyright infringements, Bastian began to crowdsource help for her project.

Whether through finding publications, connecting with family or reaching out to institutions where these women worked, more photos are becoming available to put faces to the names.

“It changed my mind,” Bastian said. “I started to see science differently because you started to understand why you saw all these white men all the time.” Bastian said black women were often not given author credits on research papers or were excluded from group pictures after a big accomplishment.

Vivienne Malone-Mayes, one of the first black women to get a Ph.D in mathematics, was the first black faculty member at Baylor. Jane Hinton, one of the first black women to get a veterinary degree, helped develop the Mueller-Hinton agar, a lab tool that helps grow bacteria. Jessie Price, who received her Ph.D from Cornell, discovered a life-threatening disease in duck farming.

By finding pictures of these women, Bastian hopes young girls interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) can develop a personal connection with role models of similar identities.

Continue onto USA Today to read the complete article.

LinkedIn

Panasonic’s Women Connect Group Enriches Experience of Women

According to a Pew Research Center survey, 75 percent of women believe greater change is needed to achieve gender equality in the workplace, compared to 57 percent of their male counterparts. To address the increasing concern about gender equality, major corporations are taking a closer look at their hiring practices and employee resources to promote diversity and inclusion. In an effort to raise awareness at Panasonic Corporation of North America, the company supported the launch of Women Connect, a business impact group to enrich the experience of women within the company. The mission of the group includes fostering inclusion and diversity, career building and demonstrating benefits to recruiting, retention and business development. Membership has grown to over 300 since its inception last year; there are even a few male members. This month, the group will celebrate its 1 year-anniversary. Continue reading Panasonic’s Women Connect Group Enriches Experience of Women

LinkedIn

24 Years Ago Ellen Ochoa Was the First Latina In Space, Now She’s Heading to Astronaut Hall of Fame

Twenty-four years ago, the trailblazing Ellen Ochoa became the first Latina in space. The NASA astronaut made history back in 1993, and continues to do so today. On May 19, she’ll be inducted into the US Astronaut Hall of Fame. “I’m honored to be recognized among generations of astronauts who were at the forefront of exploring our universe for the benefit of humankind,” Ochoa said, according to KCET. “I hope to continue to inspire our nation’s youth to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math, so they, too, may reach for the stars.” Continue reading 24 Years Ago Ellen Ochoa Was the First Latina In Space, Now She’s Heading to Astronaut Hall of Fame

LinkedIn

Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day — let’s empower women globally

HIV is often characterized as a disease that overwhelmingly affects gay and bisexual men, subsequently obscuring the significant and unique risks experienced by women. In truth, 27 percent of all new HIV cases are attributed to women, making HIV/AIDS the leading cause of deathworldwide for women aged 15-44.

Women are subjected to various institutional barriers that escalate the risk of infection and prevent access to treatment.

On National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, it is imperative that we recognize the threat of HIV facing women of all ages, encourage steps towards ending the epidemic among women, and empower women to affect the global response to HIV.

Around the world, women encounter institutional barriers that increase the risks and impact of HIV. The failure by public institutions to promote comprehensive sex education, both in the United States and abroad, has limited awareness of the dangers of HIV infection for women.

Women also comprise two-thirds of the world’s 800 million illiterate adults, a product of social hierarchies that limit educational opportunities for girls and women. As a result, women are frequently unable to access desperately needed information about sexual health, STI testing, and available treatments.

Women are also exposed to the risks of HIV through sexual assault. In the United States, one in five women is sexually assaulted at some point in their lives. Our society’s failure to properly address sexual assault has endangered women while allowing perpetrators to routinely walk free.

Women face greater risk of HIV infection not only through the incidence of sexual assault, but also as a result of the life-long trauma and symptoms that can result from sexual assault. For that reason, GMHC’s Safety in Housing program offers housing to individuals suffering from unstable housing as a result of intimate partner violence.

Women with HIV have also struggled to attain proper healthcare. As of 2012, only 55 percent of women living with HIV received continuous treatment, only 39 percent of women had been prescribed antiretroviral therapy, and only 30 percent had achieved viral suppression.

Since the early days of the HIV epidemic, the HIV-positive community has struggled to receive affordable access to care and treatment. For HIV-positive women, access to treatment is further complicated by gender inequities in employment and pay.

Moreover, 62 percent of all women diagnosed with HIV in 2014 were African American and 16 percent were Hispanic, signaling the prevalence of HIV among women of color susceptible to additional barriers to care.

Programs such as those offered through GMHC’s Women’s Care, Prevention, and Support Division, and our Empowerment program for transgender women, play a vital role in expanding access to testing and treatment for women who are most at risk.

Continue onto The Hill to read more about the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

 

LinkedIn