playlist

How to nurture brilliant women in STEM

Inspiring talks from women who have pushed the boundaries in their field and are paving the way for the next generation of girls to earn their place in traditionally male-dominated professions. (Curated in partnership with the National Security Agency.)

  1. 12:39
    Reshma Saujani Teach girls bravery, not perfection

    We're raising our girls to be perfect, and we're raising our boys to be brave, says Reshma Saujani, the founder of Girls Who Code. Saujani has taken up the charge to socialize young girls to take risks and learn to program — two skills they need to move society forward. To truly innovate, we cannot leave behind half of our population, she says. "I need each of you to tell every young woman you know to be comfortable with imperfection."

  2. 11:03
    Linda Liukas A delightful way to teach kids about computers

    Computer code is the next universal language, and its syntax will be limited only by the imaginations of the next generation of programmers. Linda Liukas is helping to educate problem-solving kids, encouraging them to see computers not as mechanical, boring and complicated but as colorful, expressive machines meant to be tinkered with. In this talk, she invites us to imagine a world where the Ada Lovelaces of tomorrow grow up to be optimistic and brave about technology and use it to create a new world that is wonderful, whimsical and a tiny bit weird.

  3. 13:39
    Dame Stephanie Shirley Why do ambitious women have flat heads?

    Dame Stephanie Shirley is the most successful tech entrepreneur you never heard of. In the 1960s, she founded a pioneering all-woman software company in the UK, which was ultimately valued at $3 billion, making millionaires of 70 of her team members. In this frank and often hilarious talk, she explains why she went by “Steve,” how she upended the expectations of the time, and shares some sure-fire ways to identify ambitious women …

  4. 9:37
    Melinda Epler 3 ways to be a better ally in the workplace

    We're taught to believe that hard work and dedication will lead to success, but that's not always the case. Gender, race, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation are among the many factors that affect our chances, says writer and advocate Melinda Epler, and it's up to each of us to be allies for those who face discrimination. In this actionable talk, Epler shares three ways to support people who are underrepresented in the workplace. "There's no magic wand for correcting diversity and inclusion," she says. "Change happens one person at a time, one act at a time, one word at a time."

  5. 16:12
    Tricia Wang The human insights missing from big data

    Why do so many companies make bad decisions, even with access to unprecedented amounts of data? With stories from Nokia to Netflix to the oracles of ancient Greece, Tricia Wang demystifies big data and identifies its pitfalls, suggesting that we focus instead on "thick data" — precious, unquantifiable insights from actual people — to make the right business decisions and thrive in the unknown.

  6. 16:39
    Keren Elazari Hackers: the Internet's immune system

    The beauty of hackers, says cybersecurity expert Keren Elazari, is that they force us to evolve and improve. Yes, some hackers are bad guys, but many are working to fight government corruption and advocate for our rights. By exposing vulnerabilities, they push the Internet to become stronger and healthier, wielding their power to create a better world.

  7. 11:54
    Erica Joy Baker How do we bridge the "anxiety gap" at work?

    When was the last time you felt like an outsider? Now imagine if you felt that way every time you entered your workplace. This is what many women and people of color feel every day at work, especially in the tech industry — they have to overcome the anxiety of being treated like an outsider before they can do the work they were actually hired to do. This isn't good for company morale or productivity. So what can employers do about it? Erica Joy Baker shares her first hand experience with overcoming the "anxiety gap" and advice on how to close it.

  8. 11:57
    Simone Giertz Why you should make useless things

    In this joyful, heartfelt talk featuring demos of her wonderfully wacky creations, Simone Giertz shares her craft: making useless robots. Her inventions — designed to chop vegetables, cut hair, apply lipstick and more — rarely (if ever) succeed, and that's the point. "The true beauty of making useless things [is] this acknowledgment that you don't always know what the best answer is," Giertz says. "It turns off that voice in your head that tells you that you know exactly how the world works. Maybe a toothbrush helmet isn't the answer, but at least you're asking the question."

  9. 17:11
    Anne-Marie Slaughter Can we all "have it all"?

    Public policy expert Anne-Marie Slaughter made waves with her 2012 article, "Why women still can't have it all." But really, is this only a question for women? Here Slaughter expands her ideas and explains why shifts in work culture, public policy and social mores can lead to more equality — for men, women, all of us.

  10. 13:42
    Jedidah Isler The untapped genius that could change science for the better

    Jedidah Isler dreamt of becoming an astrophysicist since she was a young girl, but the odds were against her: At that time, only 18 black women in the United States had ever earned a PhD in a physics-related discipline. In this personal talk, she shares the story of how she became the first black woman to earn a PhD in astrophysics from Yale — and her deep belief in the value of diversity to science and other STEM fields. "Do not think for one minute that because you are who you are, you cannot be who you imagine yourself to be," she says. "Hold fast to those dreams and let them carry you into a world you can't even imagine."

  11. 12:41
    Caroline Paul To raise brave girls, encourage adventure

    Gutsy girls skateboard, climb trees, clamber around, fall down, scrape their knees, get right back up — and grow up to be brave women. Learn how to spark a little productive risk-taking and raise confident girls with stories and advice from firefighter, paraglider and all-around adventurer Caroline Paul.