More Women Scientists in Mainstream Media, please!

Entertainment, pop culture, TV, movies… we’re pretty much surrounded. It might seem obvious to state, but all of these factors influence us more than we may think. With the Cannes Film Festival in full swing, DiscovHER takes a look at a woman fighting to break down stereotypes about computer science in mainstream media and entertainment: Julie Ann Crommett.

Julie Ann Crommet is the Computer Science education in Media Program Manager at Google. What exactly does this mean? She works with writers, directors and producers in Hollywood to create more TV and movie roles of females in STEM-related professions.

In 2013, Google looked into why more girls do not pursue computer science as a career. One of the top factors they found was the perception of computer science professions. High school and college girls had a hard time imagining themselves in these types of positions because what they see all around them is a “loner hacker image, a white guy in glasses”, Julie Ann Crommett states. So, Julie stepped in to work hand in hand with Hollywood to change perceptions surrounding tech and computer science, particularly for girls.

One such example of her efforts is the Disney Junior series “Miles from Tomorrowland”, where Miles and his family travel through space. After Julie set up a meeting between the creators of the show and engineers, the show developed Miles’ sister’s character, Loretta, into a talented coder! The hope is that, by showing girls in STEM positions on TV, young girls will have an easier time imagining themselves as coders, programmers, engineers, etc.

Julie, who majored in English and American Literature at Harvard, excelled at math when she was younger, but was also very interested in arts and acting. Now, as a professional, she gets to mix her two passions and work to change perceptions about STEM fields!

DiscovHER is inspired by Julie’s work, to integrate more female science role models into mainstream media! What do you think? Let us know @4womeninscience.

For Women in Science

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