4 Reasons Why Making STEM Pink to Get Girls Interested Is Absurd

I have to admit, it’s a pretty good time to be a girl who’s interested in STEM.

We have a deluge of programs specifically catering to girls and underrepresented minorities that have an interest in a future STEM career. These programs range from one-day conferences to full summer camps.

For those less interested in workshops and classes, there are toys that teach them about physics, and building, and coding.

Moreover, TV shows for young children have an array of girl scientists that truly help girls see themselves as smart and inventive. Though none are the protagonist of their own show, I do appreciate smart cartoon girls like Sandy Cheeks of SpongeBob SquarePants, Mary and Susan Test of Johnny Test, and Maddie Fenton of Danny Phantom.

To be honest, I’m pretty upset that I’m not a little girl anymore. Continue reading

Transnational Feminism: Why Feminist Activism Needs to Think Globally

My identity is multi-faceted and intersectional, and I suspect that most of you reading this feel the same way.

But as a foreign-born, woman of color feminist in the United States, it can be hard to find the group within feminism that feels just right for me.

I am a foreign-born Latina feminist who is all about STEM advocacy, so I fit into a lot of categories all at the same time. Continue reading

Workplace Sexual Harassment: What To Do When Your Co-Worker Won’t Stop

I chose a career path (engineering) where I almost exclusively work with men — and I am totally working on changing that!

But for now, I have to deal with the almost inevitable consequences of working in a hyper-masculine, male-dominated field: unwanted sexual advances.

Some call it flirting; some call it sexual harassment. In reality, it’s both, either, or neither — the only person who can decide what an unwanted advance means is you. Continue reading

5 Ways to Negotiate for the Paycheck You Deserve When You Work for a Sexist Company

Women, and particularly women of color, find themselves between a rock and a hard place when it comes to getting paid.

The wage gap plays a detrimental role in women’s lives as they are systemically cheated out of money they should be receiving. And as much as unaffected people like to believe that the wage gap is somehow a myth, the statistics don’t lie. Continue reading

7 Reasons Why Gentrification Hurts Communities of Color

When I was growing up in East New York, Brooklyn in the early 90s, most residents were Black or Latinx. Today, the demographics are still about the same, and very little has changed about the neighborhood.

I distinctly remember noticing that there were no white people that lived near me and that the neighborhoods that had a large percentage of white residents were simply better: They had better schools, nicer streets, more businesses, less crime, and no visible drug use.

It was everything I wanted my neighborhood to be. Continue reading

5 Reasons Why Urban Youth Don’t Have Access to STEM (And How You Can Change That)

When I was applying to engineering schools as a high school senior, I had no idea what I was in for.

Two weeks before my college applications were due, I discovered that I was missing important standardized tests that I had not taken. The requirements for admission were listed in the fine print section of the application booklet, and if it weren’t for my desire to send in the best application possible, I would have never seen that. Continue reading

4 Myths That Keep Women Away from Non-Traditional Employment

When we think about truck drivers, construction workers, garbage collectors, plumbers, electricians, and other blue-collar work, few of us immediately imagine women performing these tasks.

Women in non-traditional employment experience unique challenges that are exacerbated by working in fields where they are traditionally underrepresented and excluded, but they are also commonly overlooked in feminist discourses. Continue reading

6 Reasons Why STEM Outreach Is a Feminist Issue

I can’t believe I still have to say this, but increasing the number of women in STEM fields is crucial to gender equality in all workplaces.

We shouldn’t have “male-dominated” and “female-dominated” fields that separate us into gender-specific jobs that don’t correspond with our actual aspirations.

And while we love to share statistics when discussing the low number of women in STEM fields (27%), the problem is much bigger than the low percentage of women in the industry.

STEM fields are perceived as male, no matter what statistics say! Continue reading

Traveling, Street Harassment, and Actual Advice

My favorite thing to do is to plan trips and vacations.

I love them all – from big, bustling cities with a ton of nightlife to the quiet beachfront escapes. If I could make money from being on vacation, I would do so. Alas, I am not a travel writer or the lady from Eat, Pray, Love, so I’ll stick to my day job.

And one thing I’ve come to notice is that while planning vacations, people tend to offer advice.

While it mostly consists of restaurants to try and tourist traps to avoid, women often get some lip talk about safety – especially around sexual harassment. And a lot of us also do our own research.

Researching safety tips are a rite of passage for traveling women. Continue reading

Why Immigration is a Feminist Issue

In a recent panel discussion held by the National Organization for Women (NOW-NYC) on feminism for women of Color, I was asked why mainstream feminisms has not considered immigration a feminist issue.

As a transnational Latina feminist, immigration has always been one of my top priorities, right alongside reproductive justice and the wage/professional gap that affect mostly women like me.

Continue reading