11 Influential Women in STEM from Across the Globe

Optimized-11 Women In STEM

It may be the end of Women’s History Month, but here at SheHeroes we celebrate ground-breaking women all year long. That said, we thought we’d bring you the stories of 11 women from across the globe that are transforming the STEM fields.




1. Maryam Mirzakhani is helping us understand the complex mathematical relationships that govern

maryam-mirzakhani-is-helping-us-understand-the-complex-mathematical-relationships-that-govern-twisting-and-stretching-surfacestwisting and stretching surfaces. In 2014, Maryam Mirzakhani was one of only four people to receive a Fields Medal, which is regarded as the most prestigious award in mathematics since there is no Nobel Prize for math. She’s also the first woman to ever receive the award. She studies shapes and surfaces in several fields of abstract mathematics including hyperbolic geometry. Mirzakhani tackles important questions in these fields — like “how many simple closed geodesics shorter than some given length can there be on a particular Riemann surface” — by taking novel approaches to the problems that other mathematicians have said is nothing short of “truly spectacular.”  source image: MIT




2.  Bindi Karia left her position of Microsoft UK’s Venture 1Bindi-Karia-citi-croppedCapital/Emerging Business lead to join  the Silicon Valley Bank as Vice President. Her nickname is the ‘Queen of Startups.’ Based in London, she participates as a mentor at London’s top incubators including TechStars, Seedcamp, Startupbootcamp and more. The Guardian named her as “One Of The Ten Women In Tech You Need To Meet”, and has also been recognised by many other organisations. She is a TEDxAthens speaker from 2012. source



3. Regina Agyare is a social entrepreneur who is finding new ways to Regina Agyareharness technology to promote social change in West Africa. Agyare graduated from Ghana’s Ashesi University in 2005 as one of the top software developers in her class with a degree in Computer Science.  After graduation, Regina was hired by a prestigious international bank in Accra as the first and only woman in the IT department. After six years in the banking/technology industry, Agyare decided to follow her passion and founded her own social start-up called Soronko Solutions, which creates and manages ventures that apply technology to promote social development.  Among the projects that Agyare has launched at Soronko include one that introduced deaf girls to technology at the State Deaf School in Ghana – including apps that help promote communication in a society where use of sign language is limited.  Agyare has led Soronko Solutions to develop a number of applications for disabled persons, as well as to promote interest in technology among girls and women. source



4. Katherine Freese developed a revolutionary theory about a new kind of star. Katherine Freese was one of the first women undergraduate students to graduate with a physics quanta_freesemajor from Princeton University. She has since taken a position as the director for one of the most prestigious theoretical institutes in the world in Stockholm and is credited for her groundbreaking work to better understand dark matter — a mysterious, invisible material that makes up 26% of matter in the universe. She developed the theory of “dark stars” that could be a bizarre type of star, powered not by nuclear fusion, but dark matter. Part of Freese’s work is to determine how these dark stars might be observed in the universe. If she’s successful in spotting one, it could be the first time anyone has ever observed dark matter directly. source



5. Anne-Marie Imafidon received a British scholarship in 2003 at 13 years old to study mathematics at annemarieimafidon-e1418661118348Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and was admitted to the University of Oxford two years later. At 19, she became Oxford’s youngest graduate from the Masters Program. She went to the Deutsche Bank after graduation, and since then has become a vocal advocate for the work of women in STEM. She established the Stemettes organization, and promotes panel sessions, hackathons and other programs that are designed to attract girls and young women to a career in science, math, engineering and technology. source





6. Rana el Kaliouby founded MIT startup Affectiva in 2011 RanaKaliouby-image credit Wiredto help computers more accurately read facial gestures. Its applications go far and wide: wearable technology, advertising, and polling just to name a few. Her pioneering work landed her on MIT Technology Review‘s 35 innovators under 35 last year. Kaliouby grew up in Egypt, earning her bachelors and masters in science degrees at the American University in Cairo before obtaining her Ph.D from the University of Cambridge.  source Image: Wired




7. Alba Colon is the NASCAR program manager at General Motors. Colon grew up Puerto Rico dreaming of being an astronaut. While no-13-gms-alba-colongetting her mechanical engineering degree she joined the Society of Automotive Engineers, fell in love with cars and has been an unstoppable force in car racing ever since. She joined GM straight out of college and worked her way up to lead engineer for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for Team Chevrolet. In that job she’s helped Chevy earn 160 race wins, six driver’s championships, eight Manufacturers’ Cup awards, among other accolades. She’s also worked as the lead engineer for drivers like Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Danica Patrick. source




8. Susan Solomon Senior Scientist, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration In 1986Susan Solomon image MIT Solomon decided to lead an expedition to Antarctica to investigate the newly discovered ozone hole over the continent. “I was a theoretician at the time and sat in my nice warm office with my keyboard. But I was young and foolish, and it sounded like a great adventure,” says the atmospheric chemist. Solomon’s research in Antarctica played a key role in proving that ozone loss was caused by man-made chemicals called chlorofluorocarbons. source image: MIT



9. Pardis Sabeti is a Geneticist who sequenced the Ebola genome from the most recent outbreak CAMBRIDGE, MA - MAY 13: Pardis Sabeti, a musician, world-class evolutionary geneticist working at MIT, a Harvard Medical School graduate and a Harvard professor. (Photo by David L Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)Sabeti and her team are responsible for quickly sequencing the genome of the Ebola virus that has ravaged Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. The task was important since it determined that the disease was indeed spreading from person to person. Many of her collaborators and fellow researchers died during the outbreak. When she’s out of the lab the Iranian-American scientist sings in a rock band. source




10. Aprille Ericsson-Jackson is a native of Brooklyn, New York. Aprielle JacksonShe attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology before attending graduate school at Howard University. She was the first African-American woman to earn a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Howard University and the first African-American woman to receive a Ph.D. in Engineering at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. As she continues her career at NASA, Dr. Ericsson-Jackson is also committed to educating and inspiring more African-American students to pursue careers in STEM. source



11. Elizabeth Holmes is a Health technology entrepreneur.  She is the CEO of Theranos, a bloodelizabeth-holmes-time-100-2015-titans testing company that has challenged the traditional lab testing model. She studied chemistry before dropping out of Stanford University her sophomore year to start her company, and at age 31 she made Forbes’ Billionaires List as the youngest self-made woman billionaire. Striving for prevention and early detection, she is dedicated to transforming healthcare around the world. She manages an expanding global business by the refusal to be daunted by any obstacle. source