Q+A with Abby Bouchon, Optimist + Activist for Women in STEM

We chose Abby to be our first featured Muse because, in many ways, she embodies the BYOM ethos. Abby is a Googler living in San Francisco, working on supporting girls in STEM. She’s accomplished, generous, inspiring and inspired – plus she’s a beekeeper! We’re so excited to introduce our good friend, Ms. Abby Bouchon.

The Basics

  • Age:  24
  • Location: San Francisco, CA (but I call the South home)
  • Education: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Field of Interest: Supporting girls in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math)
  • What’s Your Favorite Thing About Yourself? My Optimism

Abby-Bouchon-BYOM-2

Questions + Answers

What’s your favorite part of every day? As in, your favorite feeling, ritual, or experience?

A black cup of coffee first thing in the morning – I love a dark roast.  I’m also really particular about my coffee mugs – I absolutely love to cradle a mug throughout the day. My favorite mug was a gift from Asheville, NC: this left-handed mug!

While researching women in STEM, what is the most important thing you’ve learned?

I was blessed growing up to have lots of hands-on experience dabbling in STEM, and one of my proudest geek moments was earning the 2008 North Carolina Science Olympiad Bottle Rocket State Champion. STEM to me has always been about curiosity and exploration, and for women especially it’s about the opportunity to use tools to make an impact in the world. Abby-Bouchon-BYOM-1 In my current role at Google, I help to share research that guides us how to motivate young women to explore CS.  Recently published research from Google shows that young girls are more likely to be interested in computer science if they have four factors influencing them:

  • Encouragement from parents and peers
  • Career Perceptions:  Is CS a field for men in the Matrix, or is it a career that can help me help people?
  • Self Perception: Am I good at problem solving and puzzles?
  • Academic Exposure:  Are there CS after-school clubs and classes available near me?

Why do you think it’s important for women to pursue entrepreneurial ventures?

Oooh, good question – I think entrepreneurship is kind of like public speaking.  It’s scary, undefined and can be lonely, but it can pay beautiful dividends.  There are so many awesome groups supporting women in entrepreneurship in local communities around the world!

You’ve moved a lot, most recently across the country. How do you stay positive even when you’re travel-weary?

Three words: The Happiness Project. Abby-Bouchon-BYOM-3

+ Who inspires you?

Three friends: Wendy De La Rosa ,Tara Seshan and Jenn Ko.

+ Let us know what you think about Abby’s story in the comments section below. Know any other women in STEM or entrepreneurship that inspire you? Tell us about them!
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