Why STEM is more than just a career for me

Oct 20, 2015 at 3:20 p.m. ET
Image: Karen Cox/Sheknows

For me, technology is more than a career — it is my way of life. It is my anchor to the world and the great connector. I cannot fathom life without my phone, my MacBook, my tablet. Google and I have a codependency that I don’t see myself working through anytime soon. My life is a testament to the power of technology to transform our reality and make dreams we cannot even fathom come true.

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I am a child of "generation social media," but I am also of the bridge generation that remembers life without it. I recall the times we used to have to wait 10 minutes through pings and the running yellow man of AOL to get online. The words “you’ve got mail” brought us far too much joy, but that could be cut short when someone called our landline and disconnected our hard-earned dial-up connection. Who woulda thunk that 15 years later we would be so reliant on social media and technology that we’d go to sleep with our phones in our hands? Those phones are now smaller than the scientific calculators we marveled about then.

There are many curses of this digital age we’re in, but I want to focus on the gifts right now. We can log on to the clouds and talk to people on the other side of the world just as easily as the person on the next block over. We can find jobs by clicking a button and sending someone a version of our résumé that they do not need to go buy ink to see. We can learn about any topic with one search and expand our minds exponentially every single day.

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I am especially inspired by the push to get more girls and women in STEM — the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Women have always been at the helm of changing our world, so we should be in the room and represented in these fields as well. Countless women have been using technology to establish themselves as thought leaders, and they’ve been making a marked difference in our world by living their passions in this industry. Their work tells girls that they too can have a seat at the table, even in an area that is male-dominated. And, in fact, we can change that in our lifetime.

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Technology is at its best when it’s being used to connect and create community, innovate and make the world a little bit easier to live in. I am especially passionate about using it for the latter. This is why I thoroughly enjoy teaching about how to use technology to do more than just loiter. We can harness it to make the lives we want more achievable. I created my site, Awesomely Techie, because I was inspired by others and wanted to share that inspiration. This is a relatively new world, and we’re all learning as we go.

Here are 20 everyday women living out their passions in the areas of STEM — women doing work that transforms.

SheKnows Inspiring Women in STEM
Image: Tiffany Egbert/SheKnows