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On my part to discovery of self, I realized that I was uniquely made and not necessarily unfortunate as circumstances beyond my control made me perceive. First, I had to learn to love everything about myself, to be appreciative of all of my encounters and experiences that gradually sharpened me to the woman I desired to be. There were times I genuinely had to come to terms with the fact that I needed to put in more work to carve out a true virtuous woman, who was not only restricted to her strength but constantly improving on her weaknesses and one of those many aspects that I dealt with was my high tendency to put on a whole lots of weight especially “in the wrong places” if you know what I mean. I certainly could not keep up with blaming my excessive weight of over 107 kilograms (235lbs) on genetic traits or to the relatable fact that I was over 6 feet tall and didn’t even look like I weighed up to 100 kilograms (220lbs).

Subsequently, I started to weigh my options in this regard, seemingly in another five (5) to Ten (10) years I could weigh over 120 kilograms possibly due to child birth, advancement in age and bodily structure. For two years I went back and forth on different weight loss programs involving strenuous workouts, unworkable diet plans, high expenses on services, product and so on and so forth but none of these worked and my looks depreciated. I decided to find out what would be easy to come to terms with that would be time efficient and pocket friendly, over the last one year I have learnt to make MY FOOD MY MEDICINE! My solution relied absolutely on everything that went into my mouth, once I was able to cut out my excesses and develop the attitude of eating clean and eating right I lost 24 kilograms over a Year.

God made no mistakes when he created all foods, fruits and herbs from the inception of the earth. He had deliberately provided all that we would ever need in regards to our wellbeing and it indeed justifiable to say that it is a call against nature to depend on harmful chemicals packaged as foods or drugs to survive.  if 90 percent of us ate all the fresh organic products of the earth rather than processed meals packaged and sold at high prices in various stores, imagine the low rate of health challenges we would have to face in the world today.

The fact remains that most of us are not willing to sacrifice our routine lifestyle of eating for the healthier way of living. We contemplate eating fruits at our convenient time or we depend on the general view of having fruits as desert after the main course meal or not having to bother taking them at all, it is very essential for us all to know how and when different fruits should be consumed and the correct way of consumption. This goes to say that all fruits of any sorts should be taken ON AN EMPTY STOMACH this will in turn aid the detoxification of the system, supplying you with a great deal of energy for weight loss, revitalization, regeneration of dead cells and other essential bodily functions.

Fruits are the most important or vital part of our daily consumption, emphasis on fruits been the MOST IMPORTANT FOODS to be consumed. This is not at any point negotiable and because fruits cannot be taken off the menu, it is indeed compulsory to take 3 to 5 different fruits in a day or where this is not accessible certain supplements can be taken on a timely basis (I will be glad if you could send an email to find out recommendable supplements). For instance, if one eats two slice of bread and a slice of fruit the slice of fruit is ready to be absorbed by the intestines, but it prevented from doing so because of the bread present in the system. The minute the bread comes in contact with the food in the stomach and digestive juices, the entire mass of food begins to spoil! The fruit mixes with the putrefying of other food and produces gas hence one bloats as a result.

A lot of issues relating to various terminal sicknesses such as cancer and other general body disorder such as the early stage of the greying of hair, balding, nervous outburst, dark circles under the eye etc. can be absolutely avoided if fruits and food are eaten the proper recommended way.

Once one has mastered the right way of eating fruits, they have the secret of beauty, longevity, health, energy, happiness and a standard weight. Today as a live prove of one who has experienced tremendous changes in growth and bodily development, I can confidently say am living the Health Beneficial Lifestyle and am ever so proud of my unending results. One of my daily inscriptions since I noticed the changes my body has encountered overtime is that “no one can ever go wrong with fruit dieting”. There is so much more I have to share, it is my vision to mentor over 100 people over a span of 365 days, who will deliberately decide to live a healthier lifestyle! if you are one of those and you desire to know more about fruits to eat at different times of the day, recommended fruits to hasten the weight loss process, how to maintain a healthy glowing skin and how best to consume your fruits as your food.

Cherish
Ff on IG @cherishmotivation

Olympus Corporation of the Americas (OCA) announced today a new partnership with Bentley University’s Gloria Cordes Larson Center for Women and Business (CWB) to address issues affecting workplace diversity and inclusion (D&I) and to identify actionable solutions. As a member of the CWB Executive Working Group, Olympus will engage with topical experts and practitioners to explore policies, processes, and programs that drive real change.

“Our participation in the CWB reflects Olympus’ continued commitment to developing a more diverse workforce and fostering a climate of inclusion,” said Nacho Abia, President and CEO, Olympus Corporation of the Americas. “Benchmarking with other CWB partner companies will help further these important goals.”

Olympus has aligned its organizational mission, core values, goals, practices and objectives to support growth and development in D&I. Enhancements to the company’s benefits portfolio demonstrate this commitment. The Dave Thomas Foundation named Olympus among the 100 Best Adoption-Friendly Workplaces in the U.S. in recognition of Olympus’ adoption credit and improved parental leave benefits. Establishing employee-led affinity groups, called Colleague Affinity Networks (CAN), has allowed employees the time and space they need to foster communities that support a diverse, inclusive workplace. Moreover, through the CANs, employees have been able to inform human resource policies. 

“Research clearly shows that organizations with greater diversity of all kinds are more innovative and more profitable,” said CWB Executive Director Deb Pine. “We are excited to work with Olympus and other forward-looking companies to build a broad understanding of the critical issues limiting progress and the inclusive best practices advancing change.”

“Olympus understands the business imperative for diversity,” said Kelly Pettis, Manager for Diversity and Inclusion at Olympus Corporation of the Americas. “Our new partnership with the CWB demonstrates Olympus’ ongoing commitment to building a more inclusive organization.”

The tools and training provided by the CWB include curated research reports that synthesize current literature, practical research, and solutions, roundtable and panel discussions focused on timely issues, and custom programs addressing the unique D&I goals of the organization. By considering topics such as intersectionality, allyship, the corporate talent pipeline, mentorship/sponsorship, and workplace flex, the partnership will help drive changes that improve diversity and foster a culture of inclusion.

Source: Olympus

Hi lady!

Running late for dinner? Too tired to cook? Ouch!

How about we make this fun? And dinner  is served quicker with minimal or no stress at all?

Introducing you to the Crock-Pot Smart Slow Cooker which helps you to control your cooking anywhere with your smartphone.

Slow cookers have always won a place in the heart of many cooks as it is less stressful and allows the cook manage other chores while cooking.

Slow cookers have the slogan of ‘’Cook all Day While the Cook’s Away’’.

There are times when the cook is inevitably late coming home.  It could be an unexpected traffic build up on your way home or the kid’s baseball game goes into extra innings. Having a smart Crock-Pot comes in handy at times like this.

The use of Crock-Pots began in the ’40s inspired by the inventor’s grandmother. However, slow cooker has not been this magical until the addition of WeMo technology which has made life even more convenient for all women. Now, with this device, you don’t need to be frustrated about looking after your baby while cooking or going to the grocery store to get something while you are still cooking. All you need to do is get a WeMo Crock-Pot Smart Slow Cooker that helps you to cook anywhere you are, using your smartphone.

With Crock-Pot Smart Slow Cooker, you can turn the temperature of your cooking pot up or down (or even turn the device off) remotely with your smartphone. You can also monitor the progress of your meal and let people know when it is ready, even if you are not there.

This app allows you to know how much cooking time is left; helps you to adjust your cooking time and/or temperature so your tried-and-true slow-cooked dinners won’t turn to mush. You can trust this device to do the magic you want while you take your time.

 

How it works?
The smart Crock-Pot connects to your Wi-Fi at home or a friend’s house. It syncs up with the WeMo app, and you can use the app to do all sorts of things, such as setting or changing the cook time, monitor what is cooking and even control the temperature.

You can even shift to warm or turn off your Crock-Pot remotely; it also has a six-quart capacity, meaning there’s plenty of room to cook just about any dish.

Having done all this, Dinner is ready!

Daphna Nissenbaum and Plastics Revolutionization

Good thoughts bring beautiful ideas, innovations, unique inventions and lots of creations. People who do not engage their minds to think are actually living their lives on waters. Wondering if this is true?

Think about the heroes and heroines of today. None of them got their ideas without thoughts, fantasies, imaginations, assumptions and even dreams. But in every act, whether through imaginations or thinking, the mind was engaged.

The entrepreneurial journey of Daphna Nissenbaum started on the platform of deep thinking and productive curiosity. Having received her children back from school on a certain day, she realised that one of her sons did not come back with his bottle of water. She was worried because it drew her attention to the millions of “plastic bottles lying at the bottom of the ocean for hundreds of years” without any remedy to its usage.

This got her worried and she kept thinking of a solution. She asked herself, “what can I throw into the waste bin without guilt?” this question was all she needed to end her days of worries, the answer was bio-degradable. These are organic matter in waste that can be decomposed into carbon dioxide, water, methane or simple organic molecules by either micro-organisms or other living things using composting or aerobic digestion.

“Then it hit me!” she said, “What if I put water in a bag, a bio-degradable bag? And like an orange, we will eat or drink the content of the package, disposing of the package into the organic waste stream. The package will then decompose and go back to nature. If that happened, I wouldn’t have to worry anymore about my kids not bringing their water bottles home!”

At this stance, she was ready to solve a world environmental problem of pollution. Glad about her remedy, she began to draft her plans.

However, she was the CEO of a research center on capital markets and had worked as a software engineer at different times previously. Venturing into packaging plastics was a new deal for her, but she had this perfect idea of making beverage bags out of bio-degradable. This was new and very big and she was ready to take the bull by its horn by giving it all it takes to bring it to actualization.

She met with her co-founder and discussed her idea to him, they set out to design perfect packaging bags that could be used by school children and students, athletes, adults and many others who consume contents of packaged products. They also went as far as hiring bio plastic experts to help them find the appropriate material that could be used for the bags.

“After six months they came back to us and said that there was no biodegradable material on the market that was suitable for the bags. They suggested we come back in few years and make the same inquiry.

We thought to ourselves: well, humanity landed on the moon, so how difficult can it be to make this bio-degradable bag? We had no idea then, how difficult this could be. That’s how Tipa, our company, was founded,” she said.

Obviously, the establishment of Tipa did not come on a bed of roses it took time, research, energy and a lot to bring Tipa to existence, considering how rare it is to gather degradable. But Daphna had a vision, she was not ready to give up, she knew that it will not only solve the problem of her children littering packaging plastics around but will reduce the amount of waste that is gotten from food packaging industries.

But as she continued to search for measures to tackle the challenge that seems to be limiting her prospective engagement, she realised two key things, “The first was that it isn’t that easy to develop a flexible biodegradable packaging solution.

The gap between conventional plastic and biodegradable plastic is quite big and challenging. The second realisation was that the problem of bio-degradable or recyclable packaging was most prominent in the flexible packaging segment of the market, a segment that is huge and growing.

I then understood that my kids’ water bottles were actually the smaller part of the problem, a drop in the ocean of the packaging industry…” she thought.

Plastics are equipment used by industries to package beverages over several decades, and it is very convenient and easy to use. But the pollution that comes along with them is very deteriorating because they litter the surrounding and cannot decompose even in many years to come. they can only be moved from one place to another put them away will mean burning or burying which are not better solutions either.

A possible solution is recycling but this method is very limited. It is limited to just the rigid packaging, such as bottles. The other flexible packages because they aren’t made from polymer and they are made of several layers of materials, they are not recyclable.

This is a huge problem because the amount of waste that is produced by the food industry is huge, Food-related plastics waste makes up 66% of the volume of plastics waste and 50% of the weight of total packaging waste. Yet there is no appropriate solution to this problem because more food is being packaged and more waste are generated.

This is the point where Tipa plans to dominate. The vision of Tipa is to Create a compostable future for flexible packaging. According to Daphna, “Imagine that your package was just like an orange peel, you eat or drink your food and your package just goes into the organic waste stream. It would decompose in the same way as organic waste and leave nothing (except fertiliser) behind.

Tipa’s packaging is bio-based and fully compostable. It offers a compostable package that feels like plastic, looks like plastic and has the properties of traditional plastic. There’s just one difference – at the package’s end of life, it is fully compostable.”

Nonetheless, biodegradable products are now being produced more than before, in form of waste bags, shopping bags, disposable utensils, etc. So, Daphna’s company is engaged in creating similar compostable plastic and bringing new properties to the material with the aim of “making the experience of choosing Tipa products seamless”.

Tipa’s packaging solution offers a way to treat packaging like an organic waste, like a creation of nature, like an orange peel. This is a new way of thinking and handling our packaging waste. The infrastructure is there – we just have to integrate into it.

I believe that in the future the only place for flexible packaging will be in the food waste stream, and this is where it ought to be. Get into the compost system, decompose, and go back to nature.  Just like an orange peel. In this future world, the piles of plastic that we use for packaging will disappear within a short time. The world will take care of its waste. This is the legacy I would love to leave for generations to come,” said Daphna.

Cynthia had gone for her routine workout that morning when she caught sight of Kayode jogging beside her and urging her to keep pace.  As they shook hands when they both stopped to catch their breath, there was an instant connection. As they got talking, Cynthia realized she might just have found the “one” and Kayode too said he “had never felt love like this before. In the next couple of months, they were inseparable.

Picture Source: mcscooby

Kayode was eager to introduce Cynthia to his older sister Kate, who was his only relative in town. A date was fixed and Cynthia could not wait to meet her future sister in-law as they were already discussing marriage. They ‘’couple’’ arrived Kate’s house and as the doorbell rang and Kate opened the door, Kayode watched in astonishment as his older sister flew into Cynthia’s arms screaming “ Aunty Cynthia”.

To wrap up the story, Cynthia had been Kate’s school mother in secondary school and was 3 years older than Kate (her fiancé elder sister).  In fact, as Kate will derogatorily put it, “Cynthia, this is Kayode that used to run around naked when we go to my house during our hostel outing days. Remember how he used to cry, wanting to follow us back to school those days? And how we will buy him ice cream to distract him and sneak out’’?  That began a long road of emotional and physical blackmail from Kayode’s family to Cynthia.

Now, Kayode was a focused young man who knew what he wanted and fought for it. 1 year later,  albeit the opposition from his family, he married Cynthia. She was 7 years older. 10 years down the line, Kayode described his marriage to Cynthia as the best decision he had ever made in life.

With an online statistics showing that the man is older in 64% of heterosexual couples, an age gap in which the woman is significantly older in a relationship is still somewhat unusual in most cultures. Notwithstanding this cultural objection, more and more couples with significant age differences are getting together and building successful families. This article highlights

7 Positives of Marrying an Older Woman.

  1. Sexual Compatibility –It is generally believed that women’s sexual hormones peak in their 30s while men peak at 18. How is this case for marrying an older woman? Well, since women reach their sexual peak much later in life than men, this might make a younger man and an older woman to be perfectly in sync sexually. Moreso, older women know what they want sexually and are not shy of letting their partners know. Ever wondered how the word ‘’cougars’’ came to be?
  2. Wisdom – An older woman has heard all the pickup lines and can more easily tell if a potential partner is genuine or not. An older woman can give you excellent financial and career advice that a younger woman or a woman your age might not have. Experience is still the best teacher.
  3. Maturity-She has had her fair share of life’s issues which tends to give one a certain kind of maturity. She is less likely to pick a fight over trivias and not as likely to have an affair as she should have gotten that out of her system.
  4. Better Parenting- Parenting requires great experience and maturity. Dealing with tantrums, emergency health issues and setting boundaries all require great maturity. A 40-something is more likely to have that maturity than a 20-something. She must have nurtured a lot of nieces and nephews and have garnered all the experience which will make parenting easier for both of you.
  5. Financial Stability- The older woman is more likely to be financially stable and less likely to depend on her partner for her financial needs. They are skewed entrepreneurs and more likely to give more attention to detailSo marrying an older woman will help you have shared responsibilities financially. An experienced career wife can offer her mate confidential career advice that may not be possible from peers.
  6. Social Poise – Older women are more poised in social gatherings and are less likely to cause an embarrassment to their partners at a social function.  They are mostly very polished, dignified, and trustworthy.
  7. Health compatibility– According to the United States National Center for Health Statistics, women live 5 years longer than men and are less likely to die of any of the top ten leading cause of death. This is not lifestyle depended, but caused by biology. So it is safe to say a man whose partner is 5 years older is married to his physiological equal. There are more than 5 widows for every widower alive. So a man who marries a woman five years or some older will realize later in life that they are health peers and will fade away together.

Now you know marrying an older woman is not all bad news as society will have us belief. Age is an issue of mind over matter, if you don’t mind, then it doesn’t matter.

Choose rightly!

Kembet Bolton

Several years ago, we could say that there was a huge career gap between the genders all over the world. More women were involved in caregiving roles, family functions, and specific jobs which were considered suitable for women (because of the deeply rooted feminine features, and ability to multi-task within somewhat stress-free subtleties) such as teaching, nursing, and catering. Women were regarded as the “weaker sex” as they were generally considered incapable of keeping up with roles that involved security, physical strength and might, and an all-around mental/emotional stability.

The men, on the other hand, were seen as protectors, leaders, and builder who in most cases, have things figured out. This notion was born out of a close study of natural occurrences over time and not particularly because a certain category of the individual was selected to be marginalized. A meta-analysis concluded that men prefer working with things and women prefer working with people.

In the past in developing continents like Africa and Asia, customs and traditions dictated the roles of each member of the society. For instance, in rural African communities where communal living was the structure upon which they were built, girls were groomed to be home keepers and in order to avoid distractions, they weren’t sent to school. At that time, the only medals a woman could get revolved around being responsible through marriage, being a good home keeper (which included the proper training of her girl children), and the act of submission as a wife. Short of these, she was limited in vision not because she couldn’t dream big dreams, but rather because she didn’t even know what to dream about. Her society had made her short-sighted to the possibilities of career paths.

It was not the men that limited her by relegating her to the background and seizing choice jobs in exotic places. No! it was cultural norms passed down from one generation to the next. The custodians of these norms didn’t know any better. They saw a weaker sex and not the strength capable of causing socioeconomic development across nations of the world.

An article by Rebecca Onion titled “Unclaimed Treasures of Science “, reveals that as far back as the Cold War, there were already women in STEM in the developed countries. The official government line during the Cold War was: STEM careers for everyone! But as historians Margaret Rossiter and Sevan Terzian have pointed out, that push for science, technology, engineering, and math conflicted with gender norms and discriminatory institutional practices, resulting in a confusing set of mixed messages for women and girls. A book by historian Laura Micheletti Puaca titled “Searching for Scientific Womanpower: Technocratic Feminism and the Politics of National Security, 1940-1980 buttresses this point. Puaca wrote about female scientists, engineers, and educators who used innovative tactics to help women succeed in STEM, long before second-wave feminism in the late 1960s and the 1970s made issues of employment equity and stereotyping part of the national conversation.

According to the historian, World War II gave women their starting point. During the war, demands for more of what was often called “scientific manpower” and a shortage of civilian male workers prompted government and industry to start programs to train women in science and engineering. But when men returned from the service, women’s status in STEM fields worsened. The GI Bill sent a flood of male students to American universities, and opportunities—both for women who had gotten quick wartime training and for more established female scientists—dried up.

Importance of having women in STEM

It goes without saying that it has become a necessity to have more women in the STEM fields with the rush of digitalization consuming the world. The coming years will see massive changes in all sectors of the economy and nations of the world need to be prepared for this surge. Women constitute up to half of the world’s population, they are ready to be involved in developmental activities and should be put to good use. In addition, STEM-related organizations and groups must be commended for their relentless efforts towards encouraging a greater participation of women and girls in STEM fields and activities.

The way forward

Despite the successes already recorded regarding women participation in STEM activities, there is a lot of work to be done.

Mentors: There is the need for a greater support and encouragement from mentor figures. This will go a long way in women’s decisions of whether or not to continue pursuing a career in their discipline.

This may be particularly true for younger individuals who may face many obstacles early in their careers. Since these younger individuals often look to those who are more established in their discipline for help and guidance, the responsiveness and helpfulness of potential mentors are incredibly important.

Cultural Exchange: Another way to spike up the number of women in STEM is through Cultural exchanges.

It is true that some tribes and races have cultural barriers which may affect their decisions, cultural exchange programmes should be incorporated in those systems to enlighten such communities on the benefits of having women who are self-reliant.

By: Eruke Ojuederie

Examining the life of a Woman and her journey in S.T.E.M, you will find that almost everything she ever did from the stone age till date has had some elements of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, which in today’s world is referred to as S.T.E.M.

Now, when we think about S.T.E.M and related jobs, we envision Physicists, Aeronautic Engineers, Software Developers, Biotechnologist, Medical Doctors and the likes. We tend to see more men in these fields and it is only natural to assume that men have always dominated these fields. This is not completely true, women have always been in the S.T.E.M field from the beginning of time, however, their contributions have not been adequately recognized or commended. Some may argue that this lack of appreciation may have contributed to the decline in the number of girls interested in S.T.E.M fields.

In this edition, we are looking at certain factors that make up the S.T.E.M disciplines and how much women have contributed to them over the years.

Let’s take a closer look at the genesis of machinery, which we identify as “technology” today, and the invention of some household products; we would find that long before we had modern-day science to create new and easier methods of performing household chores and activities, women had always performed all these activities without the use of technology.  Women washed, cooked, cared for the daily health needs of their family, devised means to preserve foods etc.

Women changed the world through S.T.E.M in areas like:

Research: Many simple things that have been modified today for daily use, were as a result of women’s discoveries, for example, researchers from the ACI, while describing the origin of soaps, state that women found that a slippery mixture of melted animal fat (or tallow), washed down from Mount Sapo (sapo: the name from which the name soap is derived), the mountain where animals were sacrificed, made their wash much cleaner without much effort, this led to the discovery and manufacture of soap. Maybe we owe the amazing feel of clean fresh washed clothes to women.

Technology: Have you ever wondered whom to thank when you’re getting your coffeemaker ready for your first cup of the day? Melitta Bentz was a German Housewife and entrepreneur who invented the coffee filter in 1908. Bentz modified the old tedious method of coffee brewing to a new method. She received a patent for her coffee filter system in 1908 and founded a business that still exists today.

Looking further into how certain tasks were achieved in the past, you would see that there was quite a very strong influence of the women community in how things were done.

Women such as Ellen Eglin an African-American who during the 1800’s invented a clothes wringer, which started the mechanization of the uncomfortable but predominant method of hand washing. Her invention would be further modified as washing machines today.

Eglin sold her patent to a “white person interested in manufacturing the product” for $18. The buyer went on to reap considerable financial awards, while Eglin, disadvantaged in colour and gender, spent her life making a living as a housekeeper and a government clerk.

Going back to the past, and women’s’ contributions to the S.T.E.M field, let’s take a look at the subject of water purification. A scientific process, pioneered by a woman Hypatia.

Chemistry: Hypatia lived in Alexandria Egypt from 350–370 died 415 AD; she was a Hellenistic Neoplatonist philosopher, astronomer, and mathematician. She taught philosophy and astronomy and is recorded as the first female mathematician whose life is reasonably well documented. Hypatia was one of the scientific pioneers that introduced the distillation of water which has now become a common activity in every household. Easy as it now seems, it was considered a scientific exploit meant to make a substance purer than its original state. A process made possible by the contributions of a woman, and not many people have heard of her.

In tackling this issue of how much influence or participation women had in S.T.E.M in the past, it can also be viewed be from a very unconventional point of view. Take Alchemy, (defined by the urban dictionary as a form of chemistry before the periodic table, and speculative philosophy practiced in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance which was aimed at transmutation of the base metals into gold) – some called it magic.  During the time of the alchemist, women had far more reputable standing especially in the depth of their research when compared to men in the field of alchemy. Something their male colleagues did not particularly like.

A good example of such a woman is Marie le Jars de Gournay, who was not allowed to receive the same education in science as her brothers. Blessed with an inquisitive mind, she was able to teach herself Latin and later went on to edit academic manuscripts. As a fully-grown woman and with all the knowledge she had acquired, she became the first female mineralogist and mining engineer.

She later moved to Paris, where she tried her hands at alchemy and published books expressing her views on how women were very much capable of creating a career for themselves in science-related fields like men. During her practice of alchemy, in a time when people still believed in magical creatures and witchcraft. Marie who was very proud of her work ignored the advice of people who cautioned her to stay away from mining. Her bold refusal to give up her practice had her accused of witchcraft and imprisoned, she died in jail at age eighty (80). How dare she thrive in a ‘Man’s’ field, poor Marie.

Isabelle Cortese is another remarkable Alchemist who lived during the sixteenth century in Italy. She chronicled her discoveries in her book titled “The Secrets of Signora Isabella Cortese”. Among her discoveries include; practical methods of perfume production; the production of essential oils and methods of melting metals to make durable jewellery. Most of her works are still in use today.

Innovation: In the area of manufacturing, we have Margaret E. Knight, she was born February 1838, in York, Maine. Armed with only a basic education, she started as a mill worker at age 12. Witnessing an accident at the mill, where a worker was stabbed by a steel-tipped shuttle from a loom, Knight was prompted to invent a safety device for the loom – Her first invention. A device which was later adopted by other mills in Manchester. Several years later, Knight moved to Springfield, Massachusetts, where she was hired by the Columbia Paper Bag Company; here she invented a machine that folds and glues paper to form the flat-bottomed brown paper bags familiar to shoppers today.

While Knight was still working to perfect the processing machinery, Charles F Annan, a would-be-inventor of dubious morality, tried to bully her out of her hard work, stealing her design, and patenting the device. Knight filed a successful patent interference lawsuit and in 1871, and she was awarded the patent. Before her death, Knight held over 20 patents and a decoration by Queen Victoria.  At the time of her death in 1914, an obituary described her as a “Woman Edison” A name which many people will come to remember her by. Somewhat dispiriting, to think that she needed a reference to male inventor for the value of her work to be understood?

Katharine Burr Blodgett is another remarkable woman, an American physicist, and chemist known for her work on surface chemistry. Blodgett contributed important research to military needs. Her work in chemistry resulted in her most influential invention: non-reflective glass. Her non-reflective glass is today, an essential for eyeglasses, car windshields, and computer screens. She was a pioneer in several respects, but how many know about her?

The list of women that have made remarkable contributions to various branches of S.T.E.M remain unending, however, the questions remain “What happened?”, “Where did it all change?”. Women had always been in the S.T.E.M field, what held them back to create the gap?

We can see that there was quite a large number of women who were genuinely interested in this field of study, but over time the number began to dwindle. Taking into consideration, the environmental, societal and mental factors that have come into play between then and now, we can begin to understand why women and girls are slowly losing interest in the S.T.E.M. community.

Some of the reasons include: They were not encouraged; they were held back by pressures; their efforts were sabotaged, and they are oftentimes not acknowledged for their contributions.

The most common is lack of Encouragement. Most cultures in the world have given a high level of dominance to the male-folks when it comes to studying S.T.E.M related courses. It is no new issue that some countries see the place of the woman solely in a domestic light. Little wonder girls who study in all girl’s schools tend to be more interested in the S.T.E.M field, and oftentimes outperform their co-ed counterparts. Psychologists found they have less discouragement and little or no negative comparison which their co-ed counterparts are regularly faced with.

What do we do?

Create an “I Can Do It” Atmosphere. In order to excite the minds young girls into studying S.T.E.M related courses, they need to be exposed to the right atmosphere. Vanessa Vakharia who runs The Math Guru science and math studio noted that one of the reasons for the low number of girls in science, is simple; many girls have come to believe that they do not have what it takes to be in S.T.E.M. She advises that incorporating a more psychological and critical means of approach would benefit the girls, especially while they are still trying to figure out who they are.  

Mentors and Role Models for Girls in S.T.E.M. The place of role models cannot be overemphasized when it comes to the girl child development, this cuts across all areas, education, workforce etc. Increasing access to S.T.E.M Mentors (women who have excelled in these fields) for the young girls, would go a long way toward building their self-confidence. Interaction with S.T.E.M mentors would serve as a confidence booster, and as a driving force towards achieving their goals.

Condition their minds. It’s quite common knowledge parents and guardians play an important role in preparing their children psychologically towards their career path. They can do this in various ways; for instance, introducing a variety of television programs that can help them identify what their kids are interested in – e.g. kids may show interest in S.T.E.M inclined programs like Doc McStuffins or Dexter’s Laboratory, which gives you an idea of where best to channel their energy

Other areas include; S.T.E.M inclined books, toys, fun activities like visiting the aquarium; that way you will awaken the marine biologist in them. You can also encourage your girls to participate in their school’s science exhibitions e.t.c.

While early school years can contribute to developing an interest in S.T.E.M in girls, parents can also work towards encouraging their kids with the littlest things in their surroundings. A little nudge once in a while can help create that enthusiasm to study.

S.T.E.M is a very broad and interesting study area and having more women interested in it will definitely be better for the world.