Media Depictions of Women in STEM Series

In the US, the Former Obama Administration's White House Council on Women and Girls and The Office of Science and Technology Policy released a fact sheet dealing with current problems relating to STEM depiction in the media, as well as strategies for solving them. Unfortunately, many of the characters that have been deemed less worthy of screen time are women who are working and succeeding in science, engineering, technology, and mathematics. The former administration sought to tackle this problem as a means to encourage future and current women and girls in STEM. This ongoing issue, and the former Adminstration's commitment to combatting this trend, inspired us here at WWEST to examine how fictional women in STEM are depicted in films and on television. Read on to see our takes below and view the White House fact sheet here.

Many of the characters that have been deemed less worthy of screen time are women who are working and succeeding in science, engineering, technology, and mathematics.  

How is the media doing 2 years after we first wrote about the representation of women? Spoiler alert: Not a lot better.

For our 2019 special pride edition of our Depictions of Women in STEM in the Media series, we look at the representation of a trans character in STEM, Nomi Marks, of "Sense8."

This month for our Depictions of Women in STEM blog post we’re doing something a little different and profiling two women from an animated movie.  Two of these women are Honey Lemon and Go Go Tomago from Big Hero 6.

When Black Panther came out in early 2018 the world was introduced to Princess Shuri, portrayed by Letitia Wright, a spunky and sarcastic 16-year old who also happens to be a brilliant tech inventor.

To close off Women’s History Month in Canada we’re doing a special edition of the Media Depictions of Women in STEM series, depicting a woman in science from a classic movie.

It’s hard to believe that Jurassic Park came out 25 years ago. In honour of that, this month’s Media Depictions post is profiling feminist icon, Dr. Ellie Sattler.  

This month we’re profiling the teenage hacker turned powerful witch from the cult classic Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Willow Rosenberg. Willow inspired LGBT youth and “nerdy girls” everywhere with her intelligence, awkward charm, and realistic love stories.

The subject of this month’s depictions of women in STEM, is Dr. Temperance Brennan. She has been influential to women going into forensic careers and often appears on lists of the top women in STEM on television along with the other outstanding women of the show.

This time, we examine toxic masculinity in technology and how Nanette Cole in "Black Mirror's" episode "USS Callister" navigates it.

In this Depictions of Women in STEM post, we profile and compare hacker extraordinaire and former CEO of Palmer Technologies, Felicity Smoak and the brilliant, and occasionally villainous Dr. Caitlin Snow

This time, we look at how a woman scientist is depicted in the 1950s B-movie The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms.

In this special pride installment of the "Depictions of Women in STEM series" we profile Cosima Niehaus from the show "Orphan Black" and discuss how not only is she portayed as a woman in STEM but also as a member of the LGBT community in STEM.

In this installment of the "Depictions of Women in STEM series," we profile Dr. Ryan Stone from the movie Gravity and discuss how she is one of the most positive representations of a woman in STEM on screen.


In this installment, we examine the depiction of a recurring character on "The Big Bang Theory." Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler (portrayed by Mayim Bialik) was not introduced into the series until well into season three.

In this installment of our "Depictions of Women in STEM" series, we focus on Patty Tolan of the 2016 film Ghostbusters.

Portrayed by Gillian Anderson, a self-proclaimed feminist in her own right, Agent Dana Scully of "The X-Files" became an iconic fictional woman in STEM who has inspired people of all genders worldwide.

In this next installment of our series on depictions of women in STEM, we examine Kaywinnet Lee (Kaylee) Frye of the short-lived TV show "Firefly," portrayed by Jewel Staite.

This first installment of our series focuses on Nyota Uhura from "Star Trek: The Original Series," and Nichelle Nichols, the woman who brought her to life on the screen.