In a landmark study conducted between 1966 and 1977, nearly 5,000 children were asked to draw a scientist. Of those drawings, a mere 0.6% depicted female scientists. Similar, more recent studies have shown improvement, with 28% of modern-day children drawing female scientists when given the same task.
It’s progress. But we’re not there yet.
Mary Kay Inc. envisions a future where more women scientists exist not only on paper, but in the real world. That’s why, on this International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we’re calling on all governments, educational institutions and our peers in the private sector to invest in, encourage and advocate for more women and girls in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education. More girls in STEM education leads to an increase in women embracing STEM careers. In turn, this provides access to more equal opportunities for women, narrows the gender pay gap, bolsters economies and eliminates bias in scientific fields.
That’s why Mary Kay supports minority students in STEM studies by investing millions of dollars in projects like the Academy of Marketing Science, the Society of Investigative Dermatology and the Madam C.J. Walker Scholarship.
It’s why each year, the Mary Kay Ash FoundationSM supports the development of women scientists with research grants that aid in finding cures for cancers affecting women specifically.
Every day, through innovation and science, women around the world are solving some of our most complex problems — but there’s more to be done to recognize their contributions, provide them a voice and increase their representation in the STEM field.
In the future, when we ask young girls to draw a scientist, my hope is that they’ll draw themselves.