5 Inspirational Women To Know In Science

5 Inspirational Women To Know In Science

I would like to say thank you to Valeria and the team at Primo Toys for putting together this post for us.

By Valeria Leonardi

It’s no secret that women are underrepresented in STEM jobs. The good news is that there are plenty of women who have made a huge impact in the field. The more we celebrate them, the more they will inspire the next generation of female scientists. Read on and spread the word!


image courtesy of Spire Maths
  1. Ada Lovelace

In 1843, Ada became the world’s first computer programmer, at a time where women could hardly access basic education, let alone a scientific one. Her story is inspiring, hopeful, and one every woman should know about. We invite you to celebrate with us by finding a little girl in your life, perhaps a daughter, niece, or student, and tell her all about Ada, who forever changed the face of computing. Read more on our blog.

image courtesy of FemStory

2. Mary Anning

Back in the nineteenth century, before paleontology had even been identified as a scientific discourse, Mary Anning began to discover large prehistoric bones along the southern British shore. At the time of her birth in 1799, humanity was not aware of the existence of dinosaurs, but in her lifetime she contributed a great deal to this undiscovered field. She rose to respect and recognition even during her lifetime – a very heartening fact. Her death in 1847 was recorded by the Geological Society, which is more astounding when one acknowledges that the society did not admit women until 1904. A true pioneer!

image courtesy of Hunter College

3. Mildred Dresselhaus

Known as the ‘Queen of Carbon Science’, this impressive scientist died in February 2017. Dresselhaus pioneered work in the field of nanoscience, which was helped to advance technology in areas as diverse as biomedical science, solar panels and the space system. The first female winner of the National Medal of Science, she was honored for her contributions in engineering by President Barack Obama. A fully tenured professor at MIT, she paid it forward by dedicating a large part of her life to the support of women in science. One of our great contemporary minds.

image courtesy of Wikipedia

4. Grace Hopper

In WWII, Hopper joined the US Navy and was assigned the Mark I Computer. Her mark on STEM is remarkable as she led a team to create the first computer language compiler. This then led to COBOL Language, a coding language that is used by business owners, government facilities, and administrative systems across the world. It’s easy to see why she became known as the ’Queen of Code’.

06 Dec 1958, Manhattan, New York, New York, USA — Physics Professor Dr. Chien-Shiung Wu in a laboratory at Columbia University. Dr. Wu became the first woman to win the Research Corporation Award after providing the first experimental proof, along with scientists from the National Bureau of Standards, that the principle of parity conservation does not hold in weak subatomic interactions. — Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

5. Dr Chien-Shiung Wu

Earning the moniker ‘The First Lady of Physics’, Dr Wu’s achievements included groundbreaking observations which overthrew a law of symmetry in physics (known as the principle of conservation of parity, for those readers who are well versed in the topic). In an all too familiar tragedy, her discovery was not recorded and she missed out on receiving the Nobel Prize in Physics alongside her male colleagues. As well her revolutionary research, her contributions included being invited to work on the top-secret atomic bomb development project during WWII, and actively encouraging women to take up the sciences. Let’s ensure female scientists are never overlooked in the same way again!


Valeria Leonardi is COO at Primo Toys. She is a mother and tech entrepreneur with a huge passion for early learning education. Primo Toys is the maker of Cubetto, a gender-neutral toy that teaches girls and boys to code through hands-on play. Find out more at: http://cubet.to/Prim0


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