Speaking to approximately 140 people in the East Room at the National Science Foundation on Monday, First Lady Michelle Obama talked about careers in science, engineering and math. She explained how important it is for girls to pursue education these areas.
Women in Science
Mrs. Obama was introduced by Michelle Del Rio, a woman who won a bachelor’s degree in biomedical sciences with a minor in chemistry, psychology and Spanish despite her parents’ humble background. Her mother only finished the third grade. Now a graduate student at Texas Tech University, Del Rio is planning to study medicine.In response to Del Rio’s story, Obama said,
“Today is also about helping every young girl in this country believe she can be the next Michelle Del Rio.”
Obama continued by saying, “If we’re going to out-innovate and out-educate the rest of the world, we’ve got to open doors for everyone….and that means clearing hurdles for women and girls as they navigate careers in science, technology, engineering and math.”
National Science Foundation Work
The National Science Foundation recently announced a 10-year plan that will give more work-related flexibility to both men and women who are pursuing research careers. Called the “Career-Life Balance Initiative,” it will allow researchers to delay or suspend grants for as long as a year if they give birth, adopt a child or have other family obligations.As Subra Suresh, the director of the National Science Foundation said, women should “not have to choose between their baby and the lab bench.”