55 Inspirational Quotes By 49 Women Who Made History In STEM

Engineering Passion has pulled this collection of quotes together from leading women in STEM fields to celebrate the contributions they have made and to inspire and motivate you in pursuit of your own hopes and dreams.

The majority of STEM-related careers are carried out by men. Women only make up a small percentage of the workforce in these fields because of the barriers that have been put in place over time. A recent study by Pew Research Center shows that STEM jobs see uneven progress in increasing gender diversity.

According to the study, 19.1 million people in the United States were employed in STEM jobs in 2019, with 50% of them being women. That’s a good percentage. But, women are still heavily overrepresented among health-related jobs (74%) and vastly underrepresented in engineering and architecture (15%) and computer science (25%) clusters of STEM jobs.

Representation of Women in STEM - Study
Representation of Women in STEM – Study by https://www.pewresearch.org/science/2021/04/01/stem-jobs-see-uneven-progress-in-increasing-gender-racial-and-ethnic-diversity/

The gender gap is caused by a variety of factors. The most obvious reason is gender prejudice in the STEM fields, as well as in the workplace. Other reasons that are less obvious include societal and family pressure for women not to study STEM disciplines.

No matter what the reasons might be, there are a growing number of successful women that have been able to become a big part of the STEM community. Hopefully, these successful women in STEM will become role models for young girls to pursue careers in STEM.

In this article, we have collected some thoughts from popular women in science, technology, engineering, and maths that can help motivate you in your own pursuits.

Quotes By Top Female Scientists

What do Marie Curie, Hedy Lamarr, Ada Lovelace, and Katherine Johnson have in common? They all studied science at a time when it was unusual for women to go into STEM fields. Here are just a few of the quotes that inspire us from female scientists who’ve made their mark on history.

Quotes By Top Female Scientists
Quotes By Top Female Scientists

1. “We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.”
— Marie Curie

2. “Courage is like — it’s a habitus, a habit, a virtue: you get it by courageous acts. It’s like you learn to swim by swimming. You learn courage by couraging.”
—Marie M. Daly

3. “Science and everyday life cannot and should not be separated.”
— Rosalind Franklin

4. “This job is a great scientific adventure. But it’s also a great human adventure.”
— Fabiola Gianotti

5. “Some of the most fun people I know are scientists.”
— Mae C. Jemison

6. “All sorts of things can happen when you’re open to new ideas and playing around with things.”
— Stephanie Kwolek

7. “Basically, I have been compelled by curiosity.”
— Mary Leakey

8. “We ignore public understanding of science at our peril.”
— Eugenie Clark

9. “Science makes people reach selflessly for truth and objectivity; it teaches people to accept reality, with wonder and admiration, not to mention the deep awe and joy that the natural order of things brings to the true scientist.”
— Lise Meitner

10. “If you know you are on the right track, if you have this inner knowledge, then nobody can turn you off… no matter what they say.”
— Barbara McClintock

11. “Somewhere along the way, I decided that if I was going to be a nurse, I might as well become a doctor.”
— Helen Octavia Dickens

12. “I tell young people: Do not think of yourself, think of others. Think of the future that awaits you, think about what you can do and do not fear anything.”
— Rita Levi

13. “It is shameful that there are so few women in science…There is a misconception in America that women scientists are all dowdy spinsters. This is the fault of men.”
— Chien Shiung Wu

14. “Certain people – men, of course – discouraged me, saying [science] was not a good career for women. That pushed me even more to persevere.”
— Francoise Barre

15. “When I was a kid we’d rent Indiana Jones movies on VHS tapes. It inspired a whole generation of scholars because we saw the excitement, and the passion, and the drama. What’s amazing to me about archaeology is the stories are even better than what you see in a Hollywood movie.”
— Dr. Sarah Parcak

Quotes By Amazing Women in Engineering & Architecture

Women have played a pivotal role in shaping today’s engineering and architectural landscape, here are some quotes and sayings from popular female engineers and architects.

Quotes By Amazing Women in Engineering & Architecture
Quotes By Amazing Women in Engineering & Architecture

1. “All creative people want to do the unexpected.”
— Hedy Lamarr

2. “Architecture is unnecessarily difficult. It’s very tough.”
— Zaha Hadid

3. “Women are always told, ‘You’re not going to make it, its too difficult, you can’t do that, don’t enter this competition, you’ll never win it,’ – they need confidence in themselves and people around them to help them to get on.”
— Zaha Hadid

4. “Unlike teachers or doctors, our efforts improve the lives of people we’ll never meet.”
— Katie Busch-Sorensen

5. “Different perspectives support better innovation — the core of the engineering way of life. When individuals within an engineering team all look the same, act the same, and come from the same backgrounds, end users may not get the best solution.”
— Ronit Polak

6. “Embrace feedback – not just the positives, but also constructive criticism. Do not settle until you’ve found the niche in engineering that you shine in.”
— Olivia Collier

7. “I would like to be remembered as someone who was not afraid to do what she wanted to do, and as someone who took risks along the way in order to achieve her goals.”
— Sally Ride

8. “But the world would be a better place if more engineers, like me, hated technology. The stuff I design, if I’m successful, nobody will ever notice. Things will just work, and will be self-managing.”
— Radia Perlman

9. “I think it’s very important to get more women into computing. My slogan is: Computing is too important to be left to men.”
— Karen Spärck Jones

10. “An engineer is a problem solver. Not only can engineering be used to solve problems, but engineers can work to “make the world a better place, improve conditions and improve lives.”
— Eleanor K. Baum

11. “If people can see Earth from up here, see it without those borders, see it without any differences in race or religion, they would have a completely different perspective. Because when you see it from that angle, you cannot think of your home or your country. All you can see is one Earth…”
— Anousheh Ansari

12. “We do not only see, we look; we do not only touch, but we feel.”
— Ruzena Bajcsy

13. “You can absolutely be what you can’t see! That’s what innovators and disruptors do.”
Kimberly Bryant

14. “There is no demand for women engineers, as such, as there are for women doctors; but there’s always a demand for anyone who can do a good piece of work.”
Edith Clarke

15. “I have more brains, common sense and know-how generally than have any two engineers, civil or uncivil, and but for me the Brooklyn Bridge would never have had the name Roebling in any way connected with it!”
— Emily Roebling

Also Read: Top Inspirational Engineering Quotes

Quotes By Leading Women in Technology

In the technology world, women have always been a big part of what makes our products and services so great. It’s also important to remember that some of the biggest names in tech were women who pushed boundaries and made a lasting impact on their respective fields. This list of quotes provides insight into their amazing minds.

Quotes By Leading Women in Technology
Quotes By Leading Women in Technology

1. “A ship in port is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for.”
— Grace Hopper

2. “If you are offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat! Just get on.”
— Sheryl Sandberg

3. “Though we do need more women to graduate with technical degrees, I always like to remind women that you don’t need to have science or technology degrees to build a career in tech.”
— Susan Wojcicki

4. “People ask me all the time: ‘What is it like to be a woman at Google?’ I’m not a woman at Google, I’m a geek at Google. And being a geek is just great. I’m a geek, I like to code, I even like to use spreadsheets when I cook.”
— Marissa Mayer

5. “You need to hire and develop great people. You need to set the vision and trust them to do the right thing. You need to let go of control. That’s wonderful for all involved because you’re empowering and trusting your people to do what’s right for the brand.”
— Dr. Francis Allen

6. “I believe every single woman could accomplish what I’ve accomplished.”
— Weili Dai

7. “We are showing people that engineering isn’t just the physics of how a transistor works. It’s using the technology, and being creative with it, and solving problems that people have, or creating something beautiful with it. And I think that’s opening up engineering to a whole new group of people that maybe never would have thought that engineering was for them.”
— Limor Fried

8. “When I first started using the phrase software engineering, it was considered to be quite amusing. They used to kid me about my radical ideas. Software eventually and necessarily gained the same respect as any other discipline.”
— Margaret Hamilton

9. “When I started my career at the Bar, I did not look or sound like what my clients expected. I had to prove myself continuously, which was difficult but ultimately useful as it meant that I always had to be at the top of my game.”
— Janet Oganah

10. “We need to understand that if we all work on inclusion together, it’s going to be faster, broader, better, and more thorough than anything we can do on our own.”
— Ellen Pao

11. “That brain of mine is something more than merely mortal; as time will show.”
— Ada Lovelace

12. “The quality, relevance, and impact of the products and services output by the technology sector can only be improved by having the people who are building them be demographically representative of the people who are using them.”
— Tracy Chou

13. “We had the quaint notion at the time that software should be completely, absolutely free of bugs. Unfortunately, it’s a notion that never really quite caught on.”
— Mary Allen Wilkes

14. “Don’t ask whether you can do something, but how to do it.”
— Adele Goldberg

15. “The kind of diversity that I think really matters isn’t skin shade and body shape, but different ways of thinking.”
— Radia Perlman

Also Read: 110 Best Quotes to Celebrate Engineer’s Day

Quotes By Famous Female Mathematicians

There are several notable females in mathematics who have made significant contributions. Here are some inspiring words from these brilliant minds.

Quotes By Famous Female Mathematicians
Quotes By Famous Female Mathematicians

1. “Numbers have life; they’re not just symbols on paper.”
— Shakuntala Devi

2. “They never asked me to go back over (my calculations) because when I did it, I had done my best, and it was right.”
— Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson

3. “It is invaluable to have a friend who shares your interests and helps you stay motivated.”
— Maryam Mirzakhani

4. “You’re never too old, and if you want to, as my mother said, you can do anything you want to, but you have to work at it.”
— Annie J Easley

5. “The science of operations, as derived from mathematics more especially, is a science of itself, and has its own abstract truth and value.”
— Ada Lovelace

6. “Without mathematics, there’s nothing you can do. Everything around you is mathematics. Everything around you is numbers.”
— Shakuntala Devi

7. “Let us choose for ourselves our path in life, and let us try to strew that path with flowers.”
— Emilie Du Chatelet

8. “Reserve your right to think, for even to think wrongly is better than not to think at all.”
— Hypatia

9. “Like what you do, and then you will do your best.”
— Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson

10. “The beauty of mathematics only shows itself to more patient followers.”
— Maryam Mirzakhani

Also Read: Funny Engineering Quotes


We hope these quotes have inspired you to make a difference in the world of STEM. If you believe we’ve overlooked a more hilarious engineering quote, please let us know in the comment section.

Aimal Khan is the founder & CEO of Engineering Passion. He is an engineer and has obtained his bachelor's degree in energy engineering from Kandahar University.