Hundreds of female meteorologists are taking part in a nationwide campaign to celebrate women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields on March 14, also known as Pi Day.
With the scientific significance of the date, which mirrors 3.14, female meteorologists will be wearing the same dress in a variety of colors, including AccuWeather’s team of female broadcasters.
In December of 2015, photos of broadcasters around the country went viral when dozens appeared in the same dress. The dress, popular for its bold color, slimming black panels and tailored fit was available on Amazon for around $30, making it an ideal choice.
A private Facebook group of female meteorologists came up with the idea to take the popularity of the dress and use it to promote women in STEM fields. AccuWeather's Julia Weiden is part of that group, and she came up with the idea to use "the dress" to raise awareness.
"The goal is to show young girls that it's possible for them to study science or math and have a successful career in STEM fields as adults," Weiden said.
"Women make up half of the workforce but only account for about 20 percent of college degrees in STEM fields. We hope to see that number grow in the future."
Weiden said 100 meteorologists participated last year. When viewers noticed other broadcasters in the same dress, it provided her an excuse to explain the cause.
"I think it's important to see more women in STEM because it increases the diversity of perspectives," she said. "Adding more women and other minorities into the mix expands the variety of perspectives and allows for a better outcome."
Though some viewers find it easy to fixate on a female broadcaster's appearance, Weiden said she and the other female meteorologists on AccuWeather have worked extremely hard to be proficient in science and mathematics.
"We hope that our viewers are able to look beyond 'the dress' and recognize that our daily goal is to keep you informed about upcoming weather events with the accurate forecasts," she said.