‘UnderTheMicroscope’ aims to support, and inspire, young women scientists

The Feminist Press at the City University of New York recently launched UnderTheMicroscope.com in conjunction with IBM in an effort to increase public awareness of the need for women in science-related fields. The site aims to celebrate the achievements of women in science, while openly discussing the challenges they face, and also inspire more young women to pursue science careers by providing a social-networking forum for students, working scientists, teachers, counselors, and parents. More than half the women—mostly in their mid- to late-30s—working in science, technology, and engineering careers today leave these fields, citing isolation, condescending attitudes toward women, and a lack of role models among their primary reasons, the site’s creators say. UnderTheMicroscope is intended to help inspire and support girls and women as they pursue these fields. The site collects stories and lessons from women in technical fields, highlighting experiences that were turning points for success and offering helpful advice for persevering through difficult times. It also encourages teenagers to share their stories, concerns, and ideas with their peers and mentors; offers tips for parents and teachers; and provides links to related sites about women in science.