Creating inclusive spaces for women and femme-presenting individuals who are studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Femmes of STEM is one of UWT’s newly registered student organizations. Their goal is to support women and femme-presenting individuals who are studying science, technology, engineering or mathematics. Founder and President Paris Piper, a biomedical major with a minor in sociology, created Femmes of STEM to provide a safe space for women, femmes and minorities to build a community together within STEM fields.
“We wanted a space where people with similar majors, similar classes could meet up and study. We also wanted it to be a safe space. These fields tend to be white-cis-het-dominated. We wanted an inclusionary space where people can come in and say ‘Hey, I was in class and I feel like this was a microaggression.’ Or ‘I feel like this was a sexist remark,’ and be able to talk about it,” Piper said.
White-cis-het is a term referring to individuals who are white, cisgender, or identifying with the gender they are assigned at birth, and heterosexual.
A microaggression is an indirect action that causes harm, and is targeted towards a member or members of a marginalized community.
Femmes of STEM values femme representation in STEM fields and works to normalize female representation within the community. One of their areas of focus is connecting with local schools and community organizations to provide STEM-related experiences for youth to be inspired to pursue STEM studies.
“My mother is a nurse. So, seeing her work was solidifying that there are people who look like me who can do this,” said Piper, recalling her own experience of seeing herself represented in the biomedical field early in her life.
Club meetings offer an array of experiences from fun activity-based meetings, to laid-back group chats, to more focused agendas of community and campus outreach and social justice. For the upcoming quarter, Femmes of STEM have plans in the works to celebrate Women’s History Month, as well as other opportunities to get involved with the club. Students can learn more and find out where events are happening by following the club’s Instagram page @uwt.femmesofstem
Membership is open to any UWT student who is looking to support and center women and femme-presenting individuals in STEM studies. Meetings are held every other week from 12:30-1:10 p.m. in JOY 207. Members must attend at least one meeting a month to stay in active standing.
To learn more and to join this club, visit their Instagram page @uwt.femmesofstem, check out their LinkTree @femmesofstem or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
Femmes of STEM officers:
Paris Piper – President
Andrea Gonzelez – Vice President
Rylee Evanger – Secretary
Sophia Degregory – Treasurer
Jude Isabella Rapusas – Social Media Coordinator
Mia Beaver – Outreach and Events Coordinator
Dr. Saumya Sankaran – Faculty Advisor