Closing the STEM Gap and expanding sustainability education through TikTok

As the world races to develop and scale solutions for myriad global sustainability challenges, a diversity of perspectives will be key. That’s one reason why, in 2015, the United Nations dubbed February 11 the “International Day of Women and Girls in Science.” Women make up less than 30% of the world’s researchers today. STEM fields must do more to welcome and encourage women-identifying students and workers — because lived experiences often yield the most targeted solutions.

Kim Hilton is one key voice working to close the gap. When she turns on her camera, she brings the magic of science to viewers around the world — including women and girls who are interested in pursuing careers in science. Known as Chemical Kim on her social media channels, the chemistry professor and influencer has more than 1.4 million TikTok followers and a talent for unpacking complex topics with hands-on education — like in this TikTok video on advanced recycling.

Jill Martin, Dow’s Global Sustainability Fellow, shares Kim’s passion for the advancement of women-identifying students and employees and appreciates her work to expand sustainability education in accessible ways.

“Circularity and sustainable plastics can be a complex space. Kim’s content shows how new technologies and innovators are addressing plastic waste and creating more sustainable and circular products,” Jill explained.

In celebration of this year’s 8th annual International Day of Women and Girls in Science, Jill recently spoke with Chemical Kim about her passion for supporting women-identifying, science-interested people in STEM.