Hey everyone! Today is a special day for two reasons: 1. IT'S OUR SECOND ANNIVERSARY! and 2. We have a surprise coming today so you all can help us celebrate, definitely watch your emails and our social media to find out more information. In honor of the brand turning two, we decided it'd be appropriate to blog about what being a black woman in STEM means to us.
To me, there are mixed feelings about being a double minority in STEM. It is HARD not seeing yourself on a daily basis in the hallways, on huge platforms, even on TV, and to that end it can be very lonely. Since the field I'm in is dominated by people that don't look like me, it's hard to find mentors who relate to my struggles, or friends in my classes that catch my references. I've had to finesse and find like-minded individuals over the years, and so far, it's working out. I have friends in my field, both black and otherwise, and the same on the mentor side of things, but there's still a huge problem attracting black women into chemistry. Part of the issue is that those of us who ARE in chemistry are so spread out and we don't know where to look to find the rest - which is why organizations like NOBCChE are sooooo important! Conferences like NOBCChE give us the opportunity to connect with each other and share ideas. It helps us create a network that includes people that can relate to us in ways that others can't, which is one of the reasons I love being a black woman in STEM.
We have a unique perspective and that's something that should be cherished. One of the main visions I've had with #MacScientist is to make it a safe space for the next generation of black women in STEM. That's why it's so candid. We want to make sure you all understand the highs and lows of our journeys so you know what you're getting yourself into. I want to be a resource to those who are thinking about chemistry and be able to help you all grow academically and professionally. I love the "each one, reach/teach one" philosophy. I think it's extremely important that I use my platform and my experiences to hopefully inspire someone to follow in my footsteps. Plus at the end of the day, there is NOTHING like a black woman in STEM. We're pretty phenomenal.
- The Chemist