The FabFems directory is a national database of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) professions who are inspiring role models for young women. The FabFems directory is accessible to young women, girl-serving STEM programs, and other organizations that are working to increase career awareness and interest in STEM.
Responding to national data concerning the lack of women in science and engineering, the National Girls Collaborative Project is leveraging their collaborative network, industry partners, professional organizations, and institutions of higher education to implement the FabFems Project. The first phase of our website will serve exclusively as a directory of women in STEM fields, highlighting personal stories and career pathways. Eventually, FabFems will expand into a dynamic online social space, where Role Models will have the opportunity to publicly engage with youth during STEM-related speaking opportunities, forums and events. Through positive role model interaction and increased interest in collaborative STEM projects, the FabFems Project intends to broaden the participation of females in the STEM pipeline and to increase the retention of female professionals in STEM fields and careers. The FabFems Project is designed to facilitate the important connection between young women and STEM female professionals during critical transition points in the career pathway.
The National Science Board, the National Academies of Science and Engineering, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and other leading policy entities have voiced concern over the lack of women in science and engineering (NSF, 2006). When girls have approachable role models (women in STEM who see their work as rewarding, relevant, and enjoyable), their impression of what it means to be a STEM professional can change dramatically and they are more likely to pursue STEM courses and careers. Using the extensive network of the National Girls Collaborative Project, the FabFems Project creates a national directory of accessible female STEM professionals, FabFems, to be connected with young women and girl-serving STEM organizations. These FabFems will exemplify the pathway to STEM and interact with students and educators through STEM activities, speaker engagements, field trips and more.
Funding for the FabFems project is provided by the Motorola Solutions Foundation and the National Science Foundation.