Women and Girls in STEM

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On March 11, 2009, former President Obama signed an Executive Order creating the White House Council on Women and Girls. In his remarks at the signing, the former president underscored that the purpose of the Council is "to ensure that each of the agencies in which they're charged takes into account the needs of women and girls in the policies they draft, the programs they create, the legislation they support" and that the true purpose of our government is "to ensure that in America, all things are still possible for all people."

The Energy Department's branch of the Council is composed of employees from multiple program offices, and we've come together to devise meaningful ways to increase the participation of women in the science, engineering, technology and mathematics (STEM) workforce and economy. 

Relevant Research and Reports

Check out agency reports about the challenges for women and girls here.

Our Activities

Ames Laboratory: Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internships (SULI), Community College Internship (CCI), and the Visiting Faculty Program (VFP) bring in students to work for spring and summer terms to work at Ames Laboratory, providing summer research and technical-skills development internships.. These programs are all funded by the Department of Energy Office of Science.  Elementary School Science Nights at Ames are events upon request of local schools that share science games and experiments, including a "Dr. Science" show. 

Argonne National Lab: Argonne's Women in Science and Technology (WIST) group provide resources, leadership, and vision to women in STEM at Argonne, promoting equality at all levels at Argone. They run Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day: Girls in sixth through eighth grade were invited to learn about career opportunities in science and engineering during the annual Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day. WIST also organizes an event called "Science Careers in Search of Women," a First Friday Forum, and the Maria Goeppert Mayer Postdoctoral Fellowship. 

Brookhaven Laboratory: The position of Women’s Program Coordinator was established in 1975 to ensure the lab develops policies and programs that respond to the needs of its female employees. The Brookhaven Women in Science group actively meets and runs programs to promote the advancement of women. Video is available from a March 2013 networking event. In addition, Brookhaven had their second CARE Workshop for an National Science Foundation sub-grant  (watch the 2012 workshop here and the 2013 workshop here). 

FermiLab: The Women in Physics website hosts women in physics resources/statistics, youth education site, status report on women in physics, success stories of women, images of women at work, and a list of laboratory women’s groups and advocacy groups.


C3E: Thirty distinguished women, three energy ministers, and eight governments came together to launch the Clean Energy Education & Empowerment (C3E) women’s initiative at the first Clean Energy Ministerial, with a mission to inspire and connect women around clean energy issues in order to attract more young women to these important careers and support their advancement into leadership positions. Learn more about their work, including the C3E Ambassadors and the Awards program on their website.

Women @ Energy: Through more than 150 profiles, read about our talented and dedicated employees here who are helping change the world, ensuring America’s security and prosperity through transformative science and technology solutions. View profiles of women across the country, sharing what inspired them to work in STEM, what excites them about their work at the Energy Department, sharing ideas for getting more underrepresented groups engaged in STEM, offering tips, and more.

Title IX: The Office of Civil Rights is responsible for running at least two reviews annually at institutions that receive Federal financial assistance, to ensure that the institution is following Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, as amended, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in all educational programs and activities for institutions receiving federal financial assistance.

Office of Science: Through programs such as Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internships, Community College internships, Graduate Student Fellowships, and Faculty and Student Teams, our National Laboratories run by the Office of Science are providing mentor-intensive research experiences for undergraduate students to enhance their content knowledge in science and mathematics and their investigative expertise; to inspire interest in pursuing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics careers and K-12 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education; and to retain these students within the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics pipeline. 

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory: The LLNL Women's Association is a resource for women, offering professional growth opportunities, education support, information exchange and community outreach.

Los Alamos National Laboratory: Expanding Your Horizons Conference encourages students to join Los Alamos National Lab’s conference to learn about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics careers. Los Alamos National Laboratory's Star Award recognizes women who “go above and beyond the call of duty in the performance of their job functions, women who have achieved scientific or technical success, and women who make important contributions to the community.”  The Women’s Diversity Working Group is an internal Los Alamos National Laboratory group that hosts guest speakers, organizes laboratory events like the Women’s History Month celebration, and other activities that enrich the lives of the laboratory’s workforce.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory: The Oak Ridge National Laboratory Committee for Women runs events like the Women in Science and Engineering Conference and promotes science, engineering, technology, and mathematics training for local community high school and college students, including women and girls. Information on Oak Ridge National Laboratory education programs is available here.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory: The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory provides STEM education resources for youth and educators through the Science Bowl and educator leadership development programs. More information available here