March 8th: International Women’s Day!

Happy International Women’s Day!

As they have in recent years, Google has posted a Doodle to acknowledge this day, and I have to say I’m a bit more impressed this time around:

2013 Doodle for International Women's Day.

2013 Doodle for International Women’s Day.

To celebrate the day here on Speaking Up, I wanted to share a few of my favorite resources for celebrating women, our history, and our contributions to the kind of creativity and innovation that Doodles are meant to celebrate:

  • The International Women’s Day website has lots of links to worldwide events and various women’s day themes around the world. (Did you know this is an official holiday in a slew of countries, including Russia, Cuba, Vietnam and Uganda?)
  • Shelby Knox’s Radical Women’s History Project posts daily items related to women’s history. Throughout the month of March, she’s also posting in-depth profiles of amazing, radical women of history. Shelby’s work highlighting the gender disparity in Google Doodles inspired me to start Speaking Up; you can also check out her blog or find her on Twitter @ShelbyKnox.
  • The Women Who Kick Ass Tumblr profiles female movers and shakers from history or today, and from every country around the world.
  • Likewise, Science Chicks From History digs up information on female scientists throughout history.
  • These days I’m loving Grandma Got STEM, which profiles grandmothers working in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields. Check them out or contribute a profile!

Midpoint Series: Sarah Scoles on Doodles + Communicating Science to the Public: The Bigger Picture

This guest post from Sarah Scoles is part of the 2012 Midpoint Series. See all of the posts in the series here.

My name is Sarah Scoles, and I work in science education and science communication. The goal of my job at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank, WV, is to create experiences and content that help students and the general public connect to science and engineering. At the observatory, we work to change science education to be more inquiry-based, we work to make scientific results more accessible to everyone, and we work to show the public who scientists are and what they do.

But science education, in general, is fact- and memorization-based, scientific results are often both hard to find and hard to understand, and in 2011 66% of Americans said that they could not name one living scientist (and of those who could, 15% named Stephen Hawking) (Your Congress, Your Health Public Opinion Poll, 2011).
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Midpoint Series: Sabrina Stierwalt on Solutions & Resources for Google

This guest post from Sabrina Stierwalt is part of the 2012 Midpoint Series. See all of the posts in the series here.

If I asked you to list some of your favorite “artists, pioneers, and scientists” off the top of your head, and you gave me 16 names, how many of those do you think would be women? 4? 8? 16? What if you were a multi-billion dollar, 30,000+ employee company that aims “to best support diversity and inclusion in a way that is both locally relevant and globally impactful” and you had the power of the internet to diversify your list? Then how many women would you come up with?

As of June 27, halfway through the year, in their 16 U.S. Doodles for 2012, Google has chosen to honor ZERO women.

Obviously, this is a problem.

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Midpoint Series: Betsey Adams on Why We Care

This guest post from Betsey Adams is part of the 2012 Midpoint Series. See all of the posts in the series here.

It may seem silly to you – why are we raising such a fuss over one little thing? After all, it’s just a Doodle every once in a while. But it’s not just that: the lack of representation of women in Google Doodles is one symptom of a larger issue. It’s one of the myriad ways that I’m constantly reminded that I’m a woman in a male-dominated field.

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Women in STEM, Role Models, and Impostor Syndrome

Today, the blog was kind enough to include me in their series of profiles of women working in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) careers. I’d encourage any readers here at Speaking Up to check out the rest of the profile series, since it’s full of women making the kind of difference that Google Doodles are meant to celebrate.

In the profile, I wrote about the Speaking Up effort, but also about major reasons that I think it’s important to highlight a broader spectrum of humanity in efforts like Google Doodles: research, and my own personal experience, shows that having role models to look up to is a major factor in students and young professionals being able to persist and see their aspirations through. Today, I want to use this space to delve a little bit deeper into one aspect of that, known as impostor syndrome.

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Google Doodles Gender Distribution 2008 – 2011

Using the Google Doodle dataset I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I looked at the gender distribution of Google Doodles from 2008 to 2011. Previous to 2008, Google Doodles were more commonly posted for celebrations of major holidays or for interesting events, and were less focused on honoring particular individuals, which is why I focused on this timeframe. As you can see in the image below, the representation of women among Google Doodle honorees has been consistently dismal.

Google Doodle Gender Distribution 2008 to 2011


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New Searchable, Sortable Google Doodles

Today, the Google Doodles Twitter account unveiled a new, updated Google Doodles website, which now lets you filter Google Doodles by year and country. Because Google posts its Doodles on its various websites around the world, and there are many Doodles active in any period of time, it was previously much more difficult to really get a handle on the gender diversity in Google Doodles.

Let’s take a quick look at 2011, specifically the Doodles posted in the United States. So far, in the men’s column, we have:

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