The Science is Simple: Women on the Rise


With my team at Messina Staffing in Chicago, I’ve had the pleasure of connecting many talented women with wonderful jobs in science, technology, and engineering.

Today, I see women rising everywhere I look, and the opportunities are only increasing! Let me tell you: these wildly talented women will lead the next generation. Here are three stand-out sciences where I expect to see increasingly amazing performances from lady bosses.


Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Women only make up 20% or so of the current workforce specializing in AI in Silicon Valley, but those numbers are growing — and women are landing leadership roles again and again.

“A lot of people think that technical fields and especially computing are this kind of geeky thing where people go off and do these obscure mathematical formulas that have no relevance to anything,” says Daphne Killer, an AI researcher and professor at Stanford. “What we’re now seeing is that computational methods are becoming pervasive in so many professions. You can help fishermen in South Africa figure out where to sell their fish or use computing as we’re doing to discover new drugs. There are just so many ways now to have a tremendous impact on society.”

Take a look at the full story — and get to know some of the women changing the game in artificial intelligence — in this Vogue feature, or check out this great round-up of names to know.


Sports Medicine, Science, and Professional Coaching

After a stunning series of games from the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team — not to mention a World Cup victory — there’s been much to discuss about women in sports.

While the unbelievable talents of athletes like Serena Williams, Sue Bird, Simone Biles, and Megan Rapinoe dominate headlines and rack up wins, female experts in sports medicine and professional coaching are also on the rise. In 2014, Becky Hammon became the first full-time female coach in any of the U.S.’s four major professional leagues, and as of August 4, 2019, there will be a record nine women in on-court coaching roles for the NBA. Times, they’re changing fast.

Just two seasons ago, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver declared that there would definitely be a woman as an NBA head coach in future seasons, and that he would, “ensure that it happens sooner rather than later.” For the talented coaches already working with teams like the Philadelphia 76ers, the LA Clippers, and the Dallas Mavericks, it’s just business as usual.


Technology and Tech Startups

As a wee technology startup, Limeade hired Tiff Napolitano as employee number seven. Nearly ten years later, she’s helping to steer a substantially bigger ship — and 51% of the 200+ employees are women.

“When I started in this industry, I was usually the only woman leader in the room,” she said. “This forced me to learn quickly and to be confident and direct so I could advocate for my team and my ideas. Now I see the industry changing with more and more women leading and their voices being heard. We still have a long way to go, but I’ve been a leader and advocate in making this possible as we all go on this journey in tech together. This makes me proud and hopeful for the future.”

She’s not alone — in Melinda Gates’ book Moment of Lift, she noted just how important it is for women to continue to step up and create tech opportunities for other women. “Women comprise about a quarter of the tech workforce, and hold just 15 percent of the technical jobs. If we want a society that reflects the values of empathy, unity and diversity, it matters who writes the code.”

The statistics show that these women are making a difference — we see it in our hiring, and in technology at large. In recent studies, numbers indicate that inclusive teams — yes, including women — make better business decisions up to 87% of the time.


We’re all in this together.

20,000 guests at this year’s AT&T SHAPE Conference were treated to a panel dedicated to “The Scully Effect” — the social impact of X-Files character Agent Dana Scully, who is credited with inspiring 63% of today’s women in technology. Whether it’s casting women on screen, supporting women’s education programs, or considering diversity in our hiring processes, one thing remains constant: together, we rise. Diversity is good for business.



About the Author: Ellen Mullarkey is a Vice President of Business Development with Messina Group. Ellen joined Messina more than 25 years ago after graduating from the University of Iowa. She has been instrumental in establishing and expanding Messina’s staffing divisions. Ellen’s dedication to building enduring relationships with clients and spending time getting to know their current challenges allows her to deliver customized staffing and consulting solutions.