Your browser is not supported. For the best experience, you should upgrade to a modern browser with improved speed and security.

Author Archives: A Mighty Girl Staff

  • The authors of the bestselling confidence guide for girls share advice for parents on how to stop the steep drop in confidence common among tween girls.

    Katty Kay and Claire Shipman are on a mission: helping tween girls keep their confidence so they can be resilient, empowered adult women! As authors of The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance - What Women Should Know, they've helped millions of adult women understand how to build their own confidence, but they frequently heard from women who wanted to know how they could help their tween and teen daughters. Kay and Shipman worked with a polling firm to learn more about the issue and were shocked to discover that girls' confidence drops by 30% between the ages of 8 and 14. "Right until age 8, there's really no difference [between girls and boys] in confidence levels," Shipman says. "We were surprised at how quickly, how deep that drop is." Continue reading Continue reading

  • Six downloadable posters celebrating women in science perfect for displaying in classrooms and kids' rooms!

    Designer Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya has created a series of incredible posters celebrating women in science that are perfect for displaying in a classroom or kid's bedroom! The six posters featured here, which are free to download, were created by Amanda, a science-trained designer, to connect the Women's March to the March for Science part of her Beyond Curie design project focused on women in science. Continue reading Continue reading

  • Dolly Parton, the beloved country music star and humanitarian, celebrates her 77th birthday!

    Dolly Parton grew up in poverty in rural Tennessee, but went on to become one of the greatest country musicians of all time and a beloved humanitarian supporting causes ranging from children's literacy to COVID-19 vaccine development! The legendary singer, who is celebrating her 78th birthday today, has sold more than 100 million records worldwide, with 25 songs reaching number one on the Billboard country music charts. A prolific songwriter, Parton has written over 3,000 songs and won 11 Grammy Awards and 50 nominations, the second most nominations of any female artist in history. An inspiring role model to many of her fans, particularly the working class women whose stories feature prominently in her songs, Parton has long encouraged them to pursue their dreams, observing: "If you don't like the road you're walking, start paving another one." Continue reading Continue reading

  • Remembering the forgotten history of the Women's Suffrage Movement's "Night of Terror"

    The Silent Sentinels picketing the White House in 1917 The Silent Sentinels picketing the White House in 1917.

    When we tell our children about the fight for women's suffrage in America, we often tell a sanitized version of the story. We talk about letter-writing campaigns, activist conferences, and stirring speeches — and occasionally, we mention defiant suffragists being hauled to jail. But we often shy away from the darker truths about the sacrifices and suffering many suffragists had to endure in the fight for women's right to vote. Continue reading Continue reading

  • After witnessing the violent round-up of Jewish children by the Nazis, Marion Pritchard became an active resister who helped save the lives of 150 Dutch Jews.

    While riding her bicycle to class at her university in Amsterdam in 1942, Marion Pritchard chanced upon a group of Nazi soldiers liquidating a Jewish children's home and watched helplessly as they violently threw young children into a truck. This encounter transformed the life of the young Dutch woman forever, leading her to become an active resister to the Nazi regime and ultimately save the lives of 150 Jewish children during World War II. Over three years, she risked her life numerous times by hiding Jewish refugees, arranging falsified identification papers, finding non-Jewish homes to take in Jewish children, and performing what was known as the "mission of disgrace" by falsely registering herself as the unwed mother of newborn babies to conceal their Jewish identity. "Most of us were brought up to tell [the] truth, to obey the secular law and the Ten Commandments," Pritchard reflected in 1996 during a lecture about her wartime experience. "By 1945, I had lied, stolen, cheated, deceived and even killed." Continue reading Continue reading

  • Dr. Shuping Wang faced violence and intimidation for exposing the truth about epidemics in China that killed more than one million people.

    In the early 1990s, Dr. Shuping Wang discovered a shockingly high rate of contaminated blood at collection centers in China's Henan province. Despite threats, intimidation, and violence, Wang became a two-time whistleblower, exposing first China's hepatitis C epidemic and later its raging HIV epidemic, which killed over one million people in the country during this period. Wang said that there was never any question that she would persevere in exposing the truth about the epidemics even in the face of severe personal consequences. "Being a medical doctor, my primary interest is to my patients and to the public, not to myself," she said in an interview shortly before her death. "Speaking out cost me my job, my marriage and my happiness at the time, but it also helped save the lives of thousands and thousands of people." Continue reading Continue reading

  • Strict gender norms and fears of witchcraft pushed women out of a centuries-long tradition.

    By Laken Brooks, Doctoral Student of English, University of Florida; this article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. 

    What do witches have to do with your favorite beer?

    When I pose this question to students in my American literature and culture classes, I receive stunned silence or nervous laughs. The Sanderson sisters didn’t chug down bottles of Sam Adams in “Hocus Pocus.” But the history of beer points to a not-so-magical legacy of transatlantic slander and gender roles.

    Up until the 1500s, brewing was primarily women’s work – that is, until a smear campaign accused women brewers of being witches. Much of the iconography we associate with witches today, from the pointy hat to the broom, may have emerged from their connection to female brewers. Continue reading Continue reading

  • Emily Warren Roebling became the first female field engineer in history as the "surrogate chief engineer" of one of the greatest architectural projects of the 19th century, the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge.

    When the Brooklyn Bridge was completed after fourteen years of construction in 1883, Emily Warren Roebling — the "woman who saved the Brooklyn Bridge" — was the first to cross it by carriage, carrying a live rooster in her lap as a sign of victory. Early in its construction, Roebling's husband, Washington, the chief engineer in charge of the bridge’s construction, became severely debilitated and bedridden due to decompression sickness. Emily Roebling stepped in and, for over a decade, oversaw the completion of one of the greatest architectural feats of the 19th century — making history by becoming the first female field engineer in the process. "I don’t think that the Brooklyn Bridge would be standing were it not for her," asserts Erica Wagner, the author a biography about Washington Roebling. "She was absolutely integral." Continue reading Continue reading

  • The Apollo 11 moon landing nearly ended in failure -- until Margaret Hamilton's flight software saved the day.

    In this iconic photograph, pioneering computer scientist Margaret Hamilton stands next to the computer code that she and her team wrote to guide the Apollo spacecraft to the moon! Hamilton was the lead software designer for NASA’s Apollo program, and her forward thinking saved the 1969 Apollo 11 mission when the flight software she designed prevented a last-minute abort of the famous landing which brought the first humans to the Moon. Over the course of her career, Hamilton developed the concepts of asynchronous software, priority scheduling, and Human-in-the-loop decision capability, which became the foundation of modern software design. She also fought for programming to be given the respect it deserved, coining the term "software engineering" ; after all, as her work showed, software could make the difference between failure and a groundbreaking success. Continue reading Continue reading

  • Mary Golda Ross spent over 30 years at Lockheed, much of it as a member of the top-secret Skunk Works program involved in cutting edge research during the early years of the space race.

    When Mary Golda Ross, the first Native American aerospace engineer, began her career at the aerospace company Lockheed during World War II, women engineers were rare and most companies expected them to leave after the war was over to make room for returning men. Ross was such a phenomenal talent, however, that she not only stayed at Lockheed for over 30 years years, she became an integral member of the top-secret Skunk Works program involved in cutting edge research during the early years of the space race. As one of 40 engineers in Lockheed's Advanced Development Projects division, Ross was the only female engineer on the team and the only Native American. Her research was so secret that, even in 1994, she had to be coy with an interviewer about her work: "I was the pencil pusher, doing a lot of research," she said. "My state of the art tools were a slide rule and a Friden computer." Continue reading Continue reading

1–10 of 67 items