#LightaSpark

To honor the women who inspire and shape future careers, the #LightaSpark campaign profiles five women who have found success applying their STEM education in what might be considered unconventional STEM careers.

Our Goal is Simple.

Inspire girls to pursue their STEM interests by offering them a new lens through which to see their STEM future. Encourage women in STEM fields to share their stories and mentor the next generation of women STEM leaders.

Join us and these role models on social media at #LightaSpark.

STEM & Social Justice

A lifelong dreamer, Morgan Mercer, President and CEO of Vantage Point, always knew she wanted to change the world – but her path to a career in technology was a winding one.

Despite being a strong math student, she felt discouraged from pursuing a career in STEM due in part to internalized stigma and bias. Now Morgan uses the immersive power of virtual reality to create training platforms that help build safer, more inclusive workplaces.

Beauty & the Beaker, a STEM Story

“Bench chemist” isn’t the first job that comes to mind when you talk about glamorous, globe-trotting careers. But that’s exactly what Gillian Ratto has found as a cosmetic formulations chemist. With a decade of experience working for companies like L’Oréal and Proctor & Gamble, Gillian develops hair care, skincare, and cosmetic products – and gets to travel the world while doing it.

Right as she was promoted to her current position, Gillian survived a life-threatening brain injury. Never one to be held back, she recovered through grit and resilience, without compromising her wit and sense of humor.

For the Love of Data & Basketball

Diana Ma sees herself as more than a statistician – she’s a “data detective.” With the help of advanced statistics, modeling, and cutting-edge technology, Diane helps the Los Angeles Lakers build their game strategy, recruit top players, and maintain an edge over the competition.

Diana always loved basketball – though she can’t say the same for statistics. Part of the problem was what she calls the “feedback loop” of gender expectations in STEM: she felt discouraged from pursuing STEM studies because it was seen as a male-dominated field.

Making Magic with STEM

Mechanical engineer Anisha Vyas makes magic come to life every day designing rides at Universal Studios Orlando. She performed engineering magic on Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley, brought King Kong to life on Skull Island, and plugged into Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Japan.

Anisha is on a mission to show young women that STEM can be fun. She says her career as a theme park designer is the perfect counterargument to the misguided notion that STEM is not a creative field.

STEM with Style & Substance

As a pattern maker in the fashion industry, Angela Fuentes uses STEM to bring designers’ dreams to life, whether she’s using the grid system to design a red carpet gown or incorporating electromagnetic engineering to create a one-of-a-kind, color-changing dress.

Her message to young girls hoping to make a career in fashion is to be patient and keep working. Angela says her tenacious outlook on life is similar to her approach to solving a difficult equation: sometimes you don’t solve it on the first attempt, but you’ll get there if you keep trying. And, of course, don’t skip the math lessons.

Be a Part of the Campaign.

This movement takes a village. All of the above content and resources are available for your use. We want to get this message in front of young girls considering their future, and we don't expect them to come here to find it. Contact us if you would like to get access to these resources.