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International Day of Women and Girls in Science: Top STEM Industries, and STEM Scholarships for Black Women and Girls

Feb 11, 2022 10:00AM ● By Nana Ama Addo

( Photo by Yaroslav Shuraev from Pexels )

On February 11th, the United Nations General Assembly and respective communities celebrate International Day of Women and Girls in Science. To fuel the next generation of Black women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), we are highlighting top STEM careers and scholarships for women in STEM.

Black women in STEM have made powerful contributions to society, including Dr. Latanya Sweeney, who co-introduced k-anonymity, Valerie Thomas, who created the illusion transmitter, and Donna Aguste, who designed patents for the Newton PDA/Apple Newton,  the predecessor to the IiPhone and IiPad. The current race and gender disparities that exist in the STEM profession indicate an unbalance in terms of representation, and the potential for more Black female-led inventions and STEM innovations. 

In 2017, non-profit Catalyst reported that Black women made up 2.5% of the science and engineering profession. In 2019, Pew Research Center noted the correlation between STEM educational attainment and STEM careers in varying racial and gender disparities. That same year, Black women were 2.9% of the total STEM degree earners, with Latinas comprising 4.3%, according to the Catalyst. 

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Top STEM careers for Black women to embark on include: 

A Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon does surgeries related to the jaw, mouth, head, or neck. These doctors usually do dentist degrees and residency programs, with additional Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon programs. USNews reported the median salary of an oral and maxillofacial surgeon to be $208,000. 

A Medical and Health Services Manager works with health professionals and other logistics pertaining to a health organization to optimize the efficiency of a healthcare service, and to help sustain a health or medical business. Many medical and health services managers have a minimum of a Bachelors of Science in Healthcare Management. In 2020, USNews reported a median salary of a medical and health service manager to be $104,280.

A Physician’s Assistant is a medical practitioner that works with a supervising doctor to assist patients, including doing diagnoses and treatments. Most physician assistants hold a master’s degree, and it is mandatory for these practitioners to have a physician’s assistant license. In 2020, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the median salary of a physician’s assistant to be $115,390.

An Information Security Analyst is a job that is in high demand, as the expansion of the digital world calls for higher cybersecurity. In 2021, information security analysts, most of whom hold a bachelor’s degree, were reported by USNews to make a $103,590 median salary.

An Operations Research Analyst curates business solutions through the utilization of data, analysis, and mathematical models. These analysts help businesses to move to the next level through offering business guidance. In 2020, USNews reported the median salary for an operations research analyst to be $86,200.

Psychiatrists, medical doctors that provide counseling, diagnosis, and treatment for people with mental illnesses and disorders. Most psychiatrists complete a bachelor’s degree, four years in medical school, and a residency program that is typically 4 years. In 2021, USNews reported the median salary for a psychiatrist to be $208,000. 

Pilots transport cargo or passengers on aircrafts, which may include planes, helicopters, jets, or more. The varying types of piloting require different qualifications. To be an airline pilot, people need a bachelor’s degree and a license from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), while commercial piloting requires a high school diploma and a license from the FAA. USNews reports the median salary for pilots to be $121,430.

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In order to lessen the disparities that exist for marginalized communities around the world to succeed in the STEM field, many organizations have created scholarship funds for students who are entering into undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate programs. 

Here are some interesting STEM scholarships for women:

The Mastercard Foundation is an international scholarship foundation for underserved African students that hosts various scholarships for undergraduate and graduate scholarships at schools around the globe. 

The Schlumberger Foundation offers a Faculty for the Future Fellowship for women around the world who are doing advanced research. 

The WAAW Foundation Undergraduate Scholarships for African Women awards African women under the age of 32 who are studying a BSc in a STEM degree with $500. 

AAUW hosts international scholarships for non-US citizens, consisting of $18,000-$30,000, to obtain a graduate or post-graduate degree at a US institution.

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Do you know of any STEM scholarships for Black women? Comment below!

Works Cited

 Nana Ama Addo is a writer, multimedia strategist, film director, and storytelling artist. She graduated with a BA in Africana Studies from the College of Wooster, and has studied at the University of Ghana and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. Nana Ama tells stories of entrepreneurship and Ghana repatriation at her brand, Asiedua’s Imprint ).

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