According to AmericanProgress.org, only 24 percent of women work in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, and of that 24 percent, only 3 percent of those women are Latinas. Considering that Latinas make up 16 percent of the female population in the U.S., it's frustrating to see them so underrepresented in these important fields. Luckily, there are organizations like Latinas In Stem and CODeLLA working to empower and create opportunities for young Latinas in STEM. There are also some extraordinary Latinas out there paving the way for the next generation. Check them out below.
1. Angelica Perez-Litwin. Named one of Hispanic Business Magazine’s 50 Most Influential Latinos in the U.S., she is the founder of Latinas Think Big, an organization for the advancement of Latina women. She was previously a Clinical Psychologist and holds degrees from Columbia University, Fordham University, and Harvard University.
2. Aida Alvarez. Not only was she the first Latina to hold a U.S. cabinet-level position, she was recently appointed to the Board of Directors of HP. She holds degrees from Radcliffe College and Harvard University and was also a journalist for the New York Post.
3. Denisse Aranda. Not many people can say they work for NASA, but Aranda works as a contamination control engineer at the NASA Langley Research Center. She got her B.S. in mechanical and materials engineering at Florida International University and got her Masters in material science engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute.
4. Daisy Rivera-Muzzio. The president and cofounder of Acumen BioPharma, LLC, she got a B.S. in pharmacy and an M.S. in industrial pharmacy from the University of Puerto Rico. Later on she earned her MBA from MIT.
5. Eliana Murillo. After receiving a B.A. in the sociology of economics from Harvard University, she became the head of multicultural marketing at Google and works on marketing products and services to diverse users.
6. Rachel Bird. She taught herself coding programs like Python and Ruby only to become a Ruby on Rails developer for a financial tech company. She is also responsible for the fully responsive user interface and currently works as a software developer at Redtail Technology.
7. Michelle Mejia. She earned her Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry at the University of Texas at Austin and is currently a senior research and development analytical chemist at The Dow Chemical Company.
8. Brianne C. Martin. After earning a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Texas A&M University, Martin spent a lot of time working for the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers. Currently she works as a liaison engineer in field services for Zodiac Aerospace.