By Dolly Bindon, OCMO Policy Intern
March is designated Women’s History Month, and this year dedicated to the theme: “Women Inspiring Innovation through Imagination: Celebrating Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.”
It has not always been easy for women to be innovators, to enter a world of men in those fields, often referred to as STEM. Slowly we are seeing more women in those fields, serving as models and inspiration for the next generation of young women, showing them that they really can achieve what they put their minds to.
My great aunt Judith is one such woman. She became a physician in the 1960s, when less than nine percent of medical students were women. Today the number is close to 50 percent. She also went to Nigeria with the second ever Peace Corps group, started learning Chinese at age 60, gives piano lessons, and sails all around the world.
On top of all she has done, she has been a wonderful mother, wife, aunt, sister and friend. She encourages me to go beyond what is expected of me as a woman and reminds not to be intimidated to shoot for my goals. Even so, none of her accomplishments would have been possible without her incredible support system. She grew up in a healthy, supportive and economically secure family. From there she was able to take her first steps towards becoming the woman she is today.
ACF’s mission helps create and sustain economic and social support systems for families. Every day these structures keep women on the path to innovating, inspiring and achieving their full potential. Whether it be providing access to quality child care for working women, enrolling young girls in Head Start programs to help prepare them for school, or helping women stay healthy and able to support themselves, the human services that ACF offers are vital to advancing the role of women in innovation.
This month’s celebration of women and all that they have to offer reminds me of how important our work is here at ACF. Still, our mission should not stop with the populations we serve. To celebrate, please thank a woman who has inspired you, take the time to let a young woman know that you believe in her, or even set some new goals for yourself. Happy Women’s History Month!
Dolly Bindon is a policy intern in the Office of the Chief Medical Officer.