Mention the name Karlie Kloss and people would immediately think Victoria’s Secret model, Vogue and L’Oreal Paris. But not everybody knows that this supermodel is slowly brewing up a storm in getting more women interested in S&T (Science and Technology).
Back in 2015, Kloss launched Kode with Klossy, a program that teaches girls aged 13 to 18 how to code. Now, in partnership with Ford, Karlie is showcasing remarkable women in tech in a project called Trailblazers of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math).
The project is a four-part video series that showcases eight amazing women’s work in S&T. Through Trailblazers of STEAM, Kloss hopes to spark inspiration in young women to be the next generation of female techies and scientists.
Eight Women Dominating Careers in Tech
Trailblazers of STEAM feature four niche fields namely: gaming, food, mobility, and space.
For the video gaming industry, Kloss introduced ActiVision Senior Technical Artist Ifedayo Isibor and Tech and Gaming YouTube personality Justin Ezarik.
In the food episode, Beyond Meat’s Chemical Engineer Lina Pruit and Season 14 Top Chef winner Brooke Williamson’s work on “creating out of the box solutions to feed our planet” was featured.
For the episode on mobility, Kloss introduced Ford Research Engineer Victoria Schein and Ford Business Team member Alexander Ford English.
Lastly, for the space exploration episode, NASA astronaut Dr. Cady Coleman and Navigation Engineer Powtawche Valerino were featured.
Trailblazers of STEAM showed the women’s stories on how they continuously surprise people in and out of their industries. Many people were surprised, for example, when they ActiVision Senior Technical Artist Isibor and discover she’s a woman.
Likewise, Ford engineer Schein wows people not only for being a woman but also for being a very young and petite scientist with already 35 patents to her name.
Studying and Working in a Male-Dominated World
Of course, the videos also feature how these amazing women struggled with studying and working in male-dominated fields.
Dr. Coleman shared how part of a reason why she entered MIT was to prove to her male Physics classmates that she could get into MIT.
Chemical Engineer Pruit shared how there is a belief in the food industry that women cannot put machines together. To this day Pruit still experiences prejudiced thoughts on women’s capabilities but Pruit states that through the challenges, you can develop a strong personality and that she is better able to handle biased preconceptions against women.
As a chef, Williamson often talked with people who thought that she did not know what she was saying but this motivated her to move forward.
A key takeaway from the video series was how at one point, these incredible and accomplished women doubted themselves.
Schein, for instance, held herself back from her interests because she thought it wasn’t normal for a little girl to want to be a car designer.
English hesitated to enter Ford as she does not have a technical background. From her experience, she tells people to “own your own skillset and be proud”.
In a similar note, Dr. Coleman shared how she struggled with the idea that she’s not good enough but has come to the conclusion that “there’s just different kinds of smart”.
Taking wisdom from these amazing women, Kloss tells other young women to not let self-doubt stop them.
Martin is a tech geek, an investor, and a gamer. When he formed Intercom Media, he made the easy decision of leaving his 9-5 job and working full-time on transforming his once one-man blog into what it is now.