STEMulate: Cincinnati Women and the State of Tech


Written by Tiffany White.

The fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are saturated with testosterone. There is little recognition and promotion of women, a fact which is driving women away from the industry altogether to find fields where they can excel. The shortage of women in the industry is very real, and it’s important for those of us who remain in the industry to encourage and assist one another in professional growth. In order to hold myself accountable for this very action, I have developed STEMulate. Consider this column the Vogue for women in STEM, where we’ll spotlight key Cincinnati women and discuss the latest STEM trends.

Who Am I?

Tiffany White! I am a senior documentation analyst (a spruced up name for a lead tech writer) for a health insurance company. I have spent nearly a decade working as a technical writer, all the while completing my MBA and, most recently, my master’s in technology management from Georgetown University. In my spare time – which is scarce since I have a four-year-old to chase after – I enjoy reading about the latest tech, design, and science trends. Which leads me here!

Stats and Issues

Cincinnati is growing at a rapid pace, and OTR is overflowing with startups and innovative thinkers. Despite these significant signs of growth, there are some areas that are still lacking. It is at the middle school age when girls typically begin to lose their interest in STEM. Perhaps if we utilize platforms such as this one to spotlight women in STEM and highlight key topics, this will trickle down to retain the interest of young girls.

If you take a step back and look at the overall rate of Ohio women in STEM related fields, the statistics show a decline. In the words of Beyoncé, “Come on, ladies, now let’s get information!” In 2012, there were 899 women who received a computing degree, and in 2013 that number dropped to 836. During both years, the amount of men receiving their computing degree exceeded 2500 (Ottinger 2016). Even after women obtain a degree in a STEM related field, they are faced with the struggle to find employment in a STEM related role.

Consider this column the Vogue for women in STEM.

My hope for this column is to draw attention to major issues that impact women in STEM and celebrate those in our neighborhoods who are pushing these fields to evolve on a daily basis. In order to cope with the insufficient number of women in the industry, the conversation must remain relevant to remedy the issues that are preventing women from accessing necessary resources to excel and rightful recognition. Even if you are not a STEM related field, I hope that you use these articles as a resource and a form of encouragement in your own industry. If you know of any women or organizations in STEM we can spotlight, or simply any hot topics or events taking place in the city, please share! This is a forum for all of you.