Milena, TechGirls 2022, Montenegro
‘Can you name three female scientists or inventors you know?’ For a long time, I was one of the people who only knew about Marie Curie and Ada Lovelace, and I would try really hard to think about anyone else. From an early age, I knew about Nikola Tesla, Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, but I never heard anything about female scientists. They were never mentioned in theory books I used in school and it is definitely not because women didn’t make contributions to the STEM field.
We have to thank them for many inventions. Imagine how different our lives would be if we didn’t have computer algorithms and software, wireless transmission technology, the fire escape, or windshield wipers. We have to thank women for all of these things. This is why I decided to create my project ‘Siri-ous women’, which aims to show girls from my community that women are able to succeed in the STEM field and that without women we wouldn’t have solutions to many problems. In a series of workshops, we talked about known and unknown female scientists who made major contributions in the STEM field.
One day, I hope that my fellow TechGirls will be ‘siri-ous women,’ like the women we learn about in my workshops. I know this is possible because of the personal and professional skills we acquired thanks to the TechGirls program. Those skills become more valuable as time goes by and will help us make a major impact in the world. Looking back, I am so thankful I heard about TechGirls and got an amazing chance to get out of my comfort zone and broaden my horizons. When I returned home after the program, I was surprised by how much I changed. I knew how to wash laundry, I was more independent, and I began to cherish all of the skills I had learned with my friends from TechGirls. Now, I relive all of these amazing memories and the best month of my life every time I scroll through the photo gallery on my phone.
Young girls are used to not being supported by their communities. They have to face many stereotypes and challenges to build careers in the STEM field. For this reason, initiatives like TechGirls are important because they show young girls from all over the world that no matter where they come from, they can do great things in life. One day, I hope that we will live in a world where all young girls are encouraged to take any career path they want without having their dreams crushed as soon as they are brave enough to tell them.