TLS: What barriers do you think women face when it comes to STEM?
Dea: The issue of lacking women equality has been apparent for centuries; however, it is not until pretty recently that the last three generations have rights. Women have always been told that they should stay in the kitchen, or get a job, but become a nurse, not a doctor. In fact, when the US was getting ready for World War II, the US government had pink-coloured jobs - jobs that even an average woman would be able to figure out.
Seemingly not a big deal, but adding pink-coloured jobs to our workforce meant that women - and men - were now aware that there was a clear distinction between them, even though women had just recently gotten the right to vote. In the US, teenage girls make up 46% of AP Calculus test takers, but only 18% of undergrad CS students.
In some countries, women cannot even vote or get a proper education, so for me, I just hope that the books that Novel Girls sends out are able to inspire little girls around the world. To make them realize that they can, in fact, become the problem-solvers, the engineers, and the physicists that we are so in need of.
TLS: What advice would you give to female students to encourage them to study traditionally "male" subjects?
Dea: I will be completely honest and say that my school forced me to take my first computer class. But, to girls out there that have to put themselves in the position to take a course that is filled with boys, I say do it. In my AP Physics class, most of the kids are boys. But, that doesn't stop me, and it shouldn't affect any of the girls who want to take these classes.
To any girl that feels as if they shouldn't take a course that is in a "traditionally male" subject, I say, you got this. You will always have support from women and me all around you. Go be brilliant.