“She was twelve years old when she told Eddie Willers that she would run the railroad when they grew up. She was fifteen when it occured to her for the first time that women did not run railroads and that people might object. To hell with that, she thought – and never worried about it again.”
I find this quote to be right, and inspiring. If you’re a girl, you don’t need to be encouraged before you can pursue technology, STEM and whatever else male-dominated field you are into. Just do it. On the other hand, if the only reason you went for STEM was other people’s encouragement, your momentum will fall apart at the first sign of difficulty or lack of encouragement.
[EDIT]: For anyone who doesn’t know: Dagny did end up running the railroad and building her own.