Two awesome women to feature today!
The first is actually a teen Navajo girl, Raquel Redshirt. She's been building solar ovens using everyday materials in Navajo Nation, New Mexico. In doing so, she's supporting a community plagued by such awful poverty that many of them can't afford electricity, leaving them without a way to cook food.
She researched solar ovens and found that most incorporate mirrors or other expensive materials. Raquel wanted to create a design that anyone could easily afford and replicate, using readily available materials.
She built and tested ovens made of old tires, cardboard, aluminum foil, tape, and insulating materials, including shredded paper and plain old dirt.
She's 16! Why is it that it's always young people of color getting this stuff done? Is it because they're amazing? Yes.
Then there's Maryam Mirzakhani, an Iranian woman and mathematician. At 37, she's become the first woman to win the math version of the Nobel Prize.
Mirzakhani is the first woman to win a Fields Medal. The gender imbalance in mathematics is long-standing and pervasive, and the Fields Medal, in particular, is ill-suited to the career arcs of many female mathematicians. It is restricted to mathematicians younger than 40, focusing on the very years during which many women dial back their careers to raise children.
Mirzakhani feels certain, however, that there will be many more female Fields medalists in the future. “There are really many great female mathematicians doing great things,” she said.
That is very impressive! I cannot even spell mathematician without the help of Google!
You can read an entire profile of this incredible woman here.
I love women doing awesome things, especially women of color, especially those living in poverty. You'd be surprised how many amazing women you can find if you just take a second to look for them.