Female meteorologists across the country have a secret sisterhood. In a Facebook group, they not only discuss weather patterns and cumulus clouds, but fashion as well. When one woman a few months ago shared magical dress with the group, a $22.99 sheath in a variety of bright colors, more than 50 members purchased the it — and subsequently wore it onscreen. After a collage was stitched together of all of them in the color-blocked item, the look went viral. At first, the story surrounding the women and #TheDressPart2 was strictly about all these broadcasters finding the holy grail of on-air looks, but now they’ve expanded on their viral moment for a greater purpose.
On Pi Day, the annual celebration on March 14 of 3.141592653…, an army of female meteorologists banded together to wear the dress on their shows in order to encourage more women to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. This group of women basically staged the largest “Who Wore It Best?” debate television has ever seen on Monday in order to bring attention to the lack of girls pursuing STEM-related fields in their studies and beyond.
“Young girls are rarely encouraged to pursue math and science, and a bias exists that these are male-exclusive careers. Let’s break the stereotype that women can’t like or be good at STEM subjects!” Photo: Facebook
Julia Weiden, who works for MS News Now, proposed the mass fashion fail for good. “Many of the female meteorologists you see on-air spent their college years as the minority in calculus and physics courses,” she said. “Society has sadly perpetuated the rumor that men are better than women at math and science, but research has shown that men are no more cognitively advanced than women.” She added, “The more we tell young girls that they are capable, the more likely it is that they will go on to pursue STEM careers as adults.”
The statistics in regards to how many women are involved in STEM is so stark that President Obama instituted an initiative in 2015 to advance STEM education in the United States. A specific action even brought together government entities with NASA, Girl Scouts of the USA, the Department of Energy’s Women in STEM mentoring program, and more to specifically develop the field.
“Nope this wasn’t an accident – Christina Burkhart & Jamie Ward are both wearing the same dress today,” the caption reads on a photo of the two newscasters “twinning.” Photo: Facebook
The dress hits all the right notes — it’s affordable (most local broadcast personalities don’t have costume budgets), flattering, colorful, and all of its wearers reported an extra boost of confidence when in it — and its following effort did so as well. “It has been so neat to see so many female meteorologists from all across the country representing proudly! Although I have never met most of the women in the group, we have a very unique bond and being part of the group has been such a positive experience for me,” Monica Ott, a meteorologist for WEAU. “We support each other, encourage one another, and share our most embarrassing stories knowing that someone will definitely understand or be able to offer some words of wisdom.”