How a Teen Created an Organization Empowering Women in STEM

Meet Caitlyn Widjaja.

Sowmya Sridhar
Writers’ Blokke
Published in
6 min readMar 3, 2022

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Logo shared by Caitlyn Widjaja

As a child, Caitlyn Widjaja felt disconnected from STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), imagining those in STEM as men obsessed with their latest lab experiments. But after attending coding camps and hackathons, she realized the world of STEM had so much more to offer. To motivate other women to pursue STEM careers, she started Girl STEMinist. I interviewed Caitlyn, a high school senior, to learn more about her journey as the leader of a youth-led organization.

Please explain the origin story for your organization. What inspired you to start it?

Growing up, I never envisioned myself wanting to go into STEM because I didn’t want to be seen as “nerdy” by other kids. As I grew up, I realized there was nothing bad about being seen this way and I grew to explore my love of technology within classes at my school, coding camps, and hackathons.

I had always felt discouraged because when I envisioned STEM I pictured men with no interests other than lab experiments and staring at computer screens all day — but after realizing my true interests in STEM, I’m now super passionate about empowering other young women to pursue STEM to get more representation in the fields so in…

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Sowmya Sridhar
Writers’ Blokke

I explore my passions by writing about self improvement with a twist, stories, and science. Mindfulness maniac. Alliteration aficionado.