Women's History Month: Pioneering the way for women in weather

March is Women’s History Month, and it is set aside to honor women’s contributions to American history.

FOX Weather will highlight some of the incredible women within the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) field all month long.

Women only make up only 28% of the STEM workforce, according to a study done by the American Association of University Women (AAUW). 

"Women remain underrepresented in the science and engineering workforce, with the greatest disparities occurring in engineering and computer sciences," the National Girls Collaborative Project says. 

The AAUW says that the STEM gap has multiple reasons for the underrepresentation, but having few role models is one of them. Girls need women in STEM fields to inspire their interests and seeing limited examples of female scientists in books, media and popular culture only further pushes that gap. 

Here are just some of the women who made significant impacts within the weather industry:

Dr. Joanne Simpson

Simpson was a world-renowned atmospheric scientist who became the first woman to earn a Ph.D. in meteorology in 1949. She was also the first female president of the American Meteorological Society. She focused her research on clouds and tropical weather.

According to NASA, Simpson developed the first mathematical cloud model using a slide rule to do the calculations because of the lack of computers. And then, in the early 1960s, she developed the first computer cloud model.

Her work was said to have sparked a brand new field of study in meteorology.

Simpson later began work at NASA, leading the study on Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM).

NASA says that TRMM wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for Simpson and that her work was a tremendous part of meteorological history.

June Bacon-Bercey

June Bacon-Bercey is a pioneer for women in meteorology. She was the first African American woman to get a meteorology degree from UCLA.

After graduating, she worked for the National Weather Service.

Being called an advocate for the environment, she later moved to television and became the first woman to earn the American Meteorological Society’s Seal of Approval.

Bacon-Bercey was passionate about building careers for women and minority researchers in atmospheric sciences. She’d join committees and take on responsibilities on the AMS Board on Women and Minorities.

She earned multiple awards and accreditations throughout her career, encouraging women to pursue their dreams in weather.

Eunice Foote

Born in July 1819, Eunice Foote was a scientist and women’s rights campaigner.

Dubbed the "hidden climate science pioneer" by NOAA, she conducted experiments that foreshadowed the discovery of Earth’s greenhouse effect.

Her experiments comparing the temperature within cylinders filled with different gases revealed the ability of water vapor and carbonic acid gas (carbon dioxide) to raise the temperature, NOAA says.

Through her experiments, she found that if carbon dioxide levels were higher, that would have caused warmer temperatures on Earth.

Stay with FOX Weather all month long as we highlight women within STEM.