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Face the STEM Gap

Posted at 6:26 PM, Feb 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-10 18:26:11-05

Tomorrow is International Day of Women and Girls in Science. Mary Golda Ross was a trailblazer for women in STEM. A native American woman, she was a member of the Cherokee Nation, and she was also a mathematician and the first known Native American female engineer.

Now Harpers Bazaar and Olay are teaming up to recognize unsung role models in STEM and honoring Mary Golda Ross is part of this.

Niki Ogunnaike, Harper Bazaar’s digital director, says women who work in STEM have really changed our world and they have created everything from everyday items like skincare products to lifesaving inventions like vaccines. But, she says, women who work in STEM often go unrecognized; only 27% of STEM jobs are currently held by women today and very few of those women are known or even really celebrated for their accomplishments.

Dr. Rolanda Wilkerson, principal scientist at Olay says, I always recognized that I was one of few young girls in the room and that became to be the nom as I went through high school, and then on to graduate school. She is happy to say that now today it is no longer the norm and woman from STEM disciplines are very critical to the beauty industry as a whole as well as OLAY, from IT to business analysts, science is at the core, everything we do, and we are really excited to honor Mary Golda Ross through this statue to bring to life how much women have been behind science and STEM careers.

Niki Ogunnaike says Mary Golda Ross was a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and she was a pioneer in engineering. She was the first known Native American aerospace engineer and the first female engineer at Lockheed. She says when we were presented with the opportunity to partner with OLAY on their Face the STEM Gap initiative to celebrate International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we were excited to honor Mary Golda Ross with a permanent statue created by the renowned Brooklyn based studio ICE. It took seven months to research, design, sculpt and create. Starting February 23rd, the statue will be moved to its permanent home, at the First Americans Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Mary’s birth state.

You can learn more about Olay’s Face the STEM Gap by going to

You can see how Mary’s statue was created by going to on February 11th.