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STEMM Role Models App

Inspire future generations by providing the most exciting and diverse speakers for your conference.

Join the chat at


First and foremost, Welcome! 🎉 Willkommen! 🎊 Bienvenue! 🎈🎈🎈

Thank you for visiting the STEMM Role Models app project repository.

This document (the README file) is a hub to give you some information about the project. Jump straight to one of the sections below, or just scroll down to find out more.

What are we doing?

The problem

  • Women and other minorities are less likely to be invited to speak at academic and tech conferences
  • Women are less likely to promote themselves: they are more likely to suffer from the imposter syndrome
  • It's difficult for conference organisers to know how good an invited speaker will be if they haven't seen them present before

So, if even the very best intentioned conference organisers (who know the powerful and supportive effects that seeing a diverse panel of presenters have for under-represented groups) have mostly seen presentations by (straight, white, cis-gendered) men then they're likely to invite men again. And so the cycle continues.

The solution

The STEMM Role Models app will:

  • Improve visibility for researchers and developers by making a database that is easy to search with customizable keywords
  • Allow anyone to add researchers so the database can grow without relying on women promoting themselves
  • Provide information that is useful for making decisions on key note invitations such as links to blogs, social media, journal articles, youtube clips, a list of previous invited presentations and testimonials.

Everyone in the database will have the opportunity to identify themselves as one or more of a selection of different under-represented groups in STEMM. The goal is to ensure that conference organisers are able to access a diverse and representative group of the most exciting researchers in their field from around the world.

Who are we?

The founders of the STEMM Role Models app - Kirstie, Amy, Erin and Elizabeth - are friends from their time in graduate school at UC Berkeley. There's more information about them (and some pictures) in the MeetTheTeam file.

The development of this app is mentored by the team behind the Rosalind Franklin Appathon - a challenge launched in 2015 to find and support the development of new mobile phone apps to empower women in STEMM. The competition is funded by the Royal Society's Rosalind Franklin award which was won in 2014 by the Prof Rachel McKendry. Check out her awesome lecture on Harnessing the power of mobile phones and big data for global health.

Kirstie is an invited member of the inaugural Open Leaders Cohort of the Mozilla Science Lab who brought together open science advocates from around the world to participate in the first Working Open Workshop in Berlin in February 2016. The training exercises (which are free and easy to reuse) focused on how to build and effectively engage communities so they can work together to develop tools and resources for the greater good.

What do we need?

You! In whatever way you can help.

We need expertise in fundraising, app development, user experience design, database maintenance (particularly ensuring the highest quality data protection plans are in place), software sustainability, documentation and technical writing and project management.

We'd love your feedback along the way, and of course, we'd love you to be in the database once it exists.

Our primary goal is to support women in STEMM and while the app is aimed at conference organisers, we're excited to plug another hole in the leaky pipeline by supporting the professional development of any and all of our contributors. If you're looking to learn to code, try out working collaboratively, get some experience writing grant applications or translate you skills to the digital domain, we're here to help.

Get involved

If you think you can help in any of the areas listed above (and we bet you can) or in any of the many areas that we haven't yet thought of (and here we're sure you can) then please check out our contributors' guidelines and our roadmap.

Please note that it's very important to us that we maintain a positive and supportive environment for everyone who wants to participate. When you join us we ask that you follow our code of conduct in all interactions both on and offline.

Contact us

If you want to report a problem or suggest an enhancement we'd love for you to open an issue at this github repository because then we can get right on it. But you can also contact Kirstie by email (kw401 AT cam DOT ac DOT uk) or on twitter.

You can also hang out, ask questions and share stories in the STEMMRoleModels room on Gitter.

Find out more

You might be interested in:

And of course, you'll want to know our:

Thank you

Thank you so much (Danke schön! Merci beaucoup!) for visiting the project and we do hope that you'll join us on this amazing journey to support women and other under-represented groups in STEMM.


  • STEMM: Science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine
  • README file: a document that introduces an open project to the public and any potential contributors
  • repository or repo: a collection of documents related to your project, in which you create and save new code or content
  • Roadmap: a document outlining the schedule of work to be done on a project
  • Milestone: an event or state marking a specific stage in development on the project
  • Issue: the GitHub term for tasks, enhancements, and bugs for your projects


Inspire future generations by providing the most exciting and diverse speakers for your conference.




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