Meet Ellen Stofan, The First Female Director Of The National Air And Space Museum | Instyle

If you look in science, technology,engineering, and math women make up 30% or less of the workforce.

Women were always the extreme minority.

Go in the room,you kind of look around the room and you say, “how many peopleare there in this room that look like me?” How do we create an environment all along that pipeline that not just welcomes.

Actively encourages them? Because we know that’s the key to success.

The John and Adrienne Mars Director of the Smithsonian’s NationalAir and Space Museum. I was the chiefscientist of NASA from 2013 to 2016 and having that job was incredibly fun. I got to work on all kinds of science issues across NASA from what of the next spacecraft that we’re sending to study the earth, out into the solar system,out to study the universe.

To how are we actually going to get humans to Mars? An incredibly fun job.

It’s an incredible honor to be the firstfemale director.

Of the National Air and Space Museum.

I want every girl in thiscountry to feel like she can grow up to be an astronaut, a pilot, or maybe somedaythe Director of the National Air and Space Museum. You know, every day I walkinto the museum and it still just fills me with awe. Because all of our artifactstell the story of someone.Someone who went to the highest.

Up, I actually, because I liked science,I would look to see who.

Were the famous women in science andtechnology and engineering that had come before.

Me? And you know, those storieswere kind of few and far between. So that’s one of the reasons when Ibecame Director of the museum, I put a photo wall on the wall in my office of women who’ve achieved amazing things in aviation and space. And so for example, one of the women on the wall is Bessie Coleman. She was the first African Americanto earn a pilot’s license. Amelia Earhart’s up on the wall. And Mae Jemison, who was the first African.

American woman to fly in space. I think this is really important.

Forgirls to have role models. That they can look at someone and say, “I can be that. Growing up, I had sort of an unusual background because my dad worked for NASA. He actually is a rocket engineerand my mom was a science teacher. So I went to my first rocketlaunch when I was four.

Wherescience, and engineering, and NASA.

And exploration were something we talked about at thedining room table. And so to me, to pursue that kind of field was natural. After my freshman year in college, I already knew that I wanted to be a planetary geologist. I interned at theCenter for Earth and Planetary studies, which is at the National Air and SpaceMuseum in Washington, D.

The most awesome place in the.

I really never thought I would come back as Director. And partially that was because that wasn’t just something that I thought was a career path for women atthe time.

But you just have to say,you know, I’m gonna.