GradImpact: Advocating for Diversity and Inclusion in STEAM Fields

    As an advocate for women and diversity in the science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (STEAM) fields, Rebecca Long hopes to encourage more women to go into these areas. “It’s really important for me to encourage more women,” Long said. “We need diverse people in these fields to take the world forward.” Long received her M.S. in computer science from Eastern Washington University in 2013 and in 2017, she founded a non-profit organization, Future Ada, which aims to secure space for women and non-binary individuals in STEAM fields.


    Named after renowned mathematician and computer programmer Ada Lovelace, the organization promotes inclusion, diversity, and collaboration in STEAM. One of Future Ada’s primary drivers is to ensure “the people we are solving problems for are also given a chance to be represented in the problem-solving process.” Future Ada offers community programs, including career mentoring, a privacy and security workshop, a women in tech interview workshop.


    Long’s drive to make STEAM more inclusive is not limited to her work on Future Ada, however. She is involved in several other organizations with related missions, including “Write/Speak/Code and the Spokane Area National Organization for Women. “I realized that just my efforts alone aren’t enough,” she noted. “I felt a strong need in the community to mentor more people, to have workshops and training, to put together a bigger effort of support for women and minorities. We want to make all of our STEAM fields in Spokane inclusive and diverse.” To learn more about Rebecca’s work visit the Eastern Washington University website.


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