Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Fierce Fund


Hey guys, let's address the elephant in the room... I'm wearing a blue wig today. More on that later, story time first.
Growing up I always loved Science. I didn't really excel in Spelling, Reading or History. But Science, I just couldn't get enough! From a early fascination with worms & butterflies, learning about clouds in middle school, to marveling at the wonders of the Universe in Jr. High, continuing in college when I declared my double major in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology. 

I honestly had some pretty amazing science teachers growing up - my father, being my first & best teacher, followed by Mrs. Adams, Mrs. Wright, Mrs. Self, Dr. Duina, Dr. Haggard, & many more. Teachers that didn't give me a hard time for being the overzealous sponge with my hand always in the air. Ones that rewarded my work with more knowledge. Instrumental teachers that molded me into the person I am today, perusing a career as a professional scientist. 
Turns out, there was one thing that all my teachers failed to teach me - Science is a male dominated field. To prove yourself as a female in Science, you more times than not have to work harder & better than the males in your same position, for (sadly) less respect, acclaim & pay. Being a woman in Science (or any historically "male" dominated career) takes a hefty dose of fierceness. 

Sidenote: If you are interested in learning more about historical women in science, I have two great stories for you:
1. The discovery of DNA's double helix structure is often accredited solely to Watson & Crick. But what about their female partner, Rosalind Franklin that put in her fair share of this ground breaking work... that they might not have done without her?
2. In my field of developmental biology I study "Spemann's Organizer", named for the man that studied it, but what about his student, MISS Hilde Mangold who's research & experimentation was the foundation for her boss' subsequent Nobel Prize?

And this recent post was a really great perspective from a fellow female career scientist.
If there is something that I know about, it is being Fierce. Rising above. Going beyond what is expected of me to get what I deserve.
So today I don this blue wig & show you my fiercest face to tell you about the Fierce Fund.

The Fierce Fund is the brainchild of Clever Girls Collective to recognize & celebrate the stories of strong women. Started in 2009 with the internal mantra, "Innovate. Elevate. Be Fierce.", the Clever Girls Collective focuses on encouraging women to share their stories & gain recognition for doing so!

In 2013, The Fierce Fund will donate $20,000 in support of nonprofit initiatives that celebrate, encourage, & elevate women and girls.

Read more about how the traveling blue wig came to be & select this year's Fierce Fund grant winner {here}

Every woman has a story of strength to share. When was a time that you had to be Fierce? Please feel free to share your stories of strength, bravery, & general kick-butt-ness in the comments!

I am a member of the Clever Girl Collective & was excited to share this wonderful initiative "pro bono" if you will... I hope you enjoy!

15 comments:

  1. Yay! Let's go lady scientists! I'm an organic chemist and was the only female PhD at my first job. Love the idea of the fierce fund!

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  2. Great post Jess! How on earth do you look so sticking cute with a blue wig! Way to go!


    Alice
    www.happinessatmidlife.com

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  3. I LOVE THIS. How did I not know you were a scientist after all this time? I am a secret science nerd as well! I don't have a science job but started college as a cellular and molecular bio major before switching to health communication (still a BS). a good 25% of the people I follow on twitter are scientists/science news. Officially girl crushing on you & checking out the Fierce Fund right now!

    xx,

    E
    Currently Coveting

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  4. You go, girl! I totally applaud you for having the brains to understand and enjoy science...something I've never been great at! I enjoyed those two stories you shared too! It's a girl's world, yes indeed

    perfectly priya

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  5. Preach it sista. I hate how Rosalind always gets overlooked. I'm sometimes the only female student in my engineering classes (and in my lab for spinal cord locomotor rehab) and even though I whoop everyone's a$$es, I'm still not a male. So I feel you on this one, Jessica! Stay fierce, gorgeous!

    xo,
    Grace
    A Southern Drawl

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  6. Love this! I actually had a lot of girl friends in college who were science majors, but I think the University of Chicago is an anomaly in that sense. Occupational therapy is a largely female-dominated field, but I felt like we weren't taken as seriously in the hospital setting among some of the doctors and surgeons. So frustrating. I love that you're working so hard in a field that needs more women!

    Kaitlin
    www.teaandsequins.com

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  7. Wow, that's awesome! I love hearing stories about fellow women in science! O-chem was never my strong suit though, super girl power!
    xx

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  8. Aw, thank you so much! I definitely need to pull this bad boy out for a costume in the future!
    xx

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  9. ha, guess I'm a closeted scientist! I love that you are such a science nerd too!
    xx

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  10. Aw, thank you so much lady! I don't think I'm an inspiration by any means, just putting my head down & getting the work done. But I have been oh so fortunate to have truly inspiring, intelligent, & fierce women in my life!
    xx

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  11. Yay, I'm always happy to pass along great stories of fierce women that dress up the annuls of science :)
    xx

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  12. You definitely know what I'm talking about my nerdy sista from another mista! Re-reading the story of Rosalind in preparation for this post broke my heart all over again for her, she definitely is a profile in fierceness! Good for you going out & kicking those boys buts in spinal cord locomotor rehab... that just sounds fierce!
    xx

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Thank you for your comments, they make my day!!
xx