In today’s episode I chat with Danielle Connolly, founder and CEO of Make them Mainstream, an organization that empowers young girls through STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education. It’s no secret that there are very few women in STEM fields, and Danielle is on a mission to change this by working with young girls ages 4 through 9, their parents and teachers.
School was really hard for Danielle, who was always a creative. She was a dancer, an actor, and a writer, and never excelled in academia. But in her last year of high school she realized that math and science could be creative pursuits as well. She went on to become an engineer, and now frames the scientific method and engineering problem solving as creative processes. We chat about why this is critical for girls who want to pursue STEM, how our careers become our identities, and the challenges that women face in male-dominated industries.
TOPICS EXPLORED IN THIS EPISODE:
How Danielle combined all her interests to create Make Them Mainstream [ 5:30 ]
How there’s no one path to finding feel-good work [ 9:10 ]
What your five-year-old self knows [ 11:55 ]
Why there aren’t many girls in STEM [ 12:26 ]
Why a creative mindset is necessary in engineering [ 16:17 ]
What university really trains you for [ 17:44 ]
How perspectives on intelligence are changing [ 21:45 ]
How to shock confidence into people you are talking to [ 23:28 ]
Where we place so much of our worth [ 29:29 ]
What happens to girls around the sixth grade [ 31:30 ]
Why it’s so important for moms to have a holistic sense of identity [ 36:14 ]
The biggest question that female engineers are asked as mentors [ 37:55 ]
The realities of working in a male-dominated industry [ 40:00 ]
How to be in tune with yourself to combat overworking [ 45:25 ]
Life doesn’t have to be linear. You can try different things.
I was an otherwise intelligent woman, except for the fact that I had no idea what I was doing with my financial life.
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