Welcome back to Woman Crush Wednesday, our weekly roundup of badass ladies making the news.

One goal of this series is to show that while women have more opportunities today than ever before, we don’t have to be perfect while we try to change the world. It’s easy to get bogged down while struggling to fulfill all the expectations associated with our sex. We’re expected to kill it on the career front, but also keep everything running smoothly at home — and definitely can’t forget to be hot yet approachable; assertive, but never bitchy; and smart without being too intimidating. The constant balancing act of being a “successful woman” is well-tread material, but — as with many, many things — has probably been explained most succinctly by Beyoncé.

Which is why this sentence from the Quartz feature on a couple of the women from this week’s roundup really stood out to us:

There are tons of articles and data about how women are a minority in the software industry, which is a sad reality. Meanwhile, the few articles that specifically showcase women in tech create an unattainable archetype of a woman that somehow manages to run marathons, raise a family, always looks impeccable, and marginalizes the amazing technology that she built.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

This is just a reminder for all the ladies reading about all these inspirational women: You don’t have to be perfect to make a difference. Just work hard, do you, and try not to give a fuck about what’s expected of you because you’re a woman.

Whew! That felt good. Now, here’s who we’ve been crushing on this week:

  • Erin Summers and Zainab Ghadiyali, founders of the wogrammers project. Wogrammer is showcasing emerging cutting edge technology with women — like Kaya Thomas, Melissa Halfon, and Ilona Bodnar — at the helm. They’re tired of the overwrought stereotype that any successful woman in tech is a Super Mom, Super Babe, Super Wife, and a Super Computer Programmer all in one. (Quartz)
  • Biologist Regine Gries, who willingly offers up her own flesh to thousands of bedbugs weekly. Why? Because she and her husband are developing a chemical used to lure the nightmarish insects from mattresses into traps. Highway motels across the country are about to get a serious upgrade. (Wired)

  • The female staffers on Capitol Hill banned from being left alone with male legislators during work functions. Such discriminatory policies not only demean female aides by characterizing them solely as “potential sexual scandals,” but they also give men unfair access to career opportunities and upward mobility on the Hill. (Vox)

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

  • Frederica Perera, an environmental health researcher at Columbia University, who just won a prestigious Heinz Award for her 10-year investigation into the ties between air pollution and childhood obesity. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
  • Jill Henderson, half of the brains behind the Hendo Hoverboard. Henderson and her husband think their prototype could be the future of transportation. (Smithsonian)

Stay tuned for next week’s roundup!


Reader support helps sustain our work. Donate today to keep our climate news free. All donations DOUBLED!