In the twenty first century, there is more emphasis than ever on equality for all no matter what gender, race or religion a person might be. It’s vital that we are able to strive for the meritocracy that many of us crave. We want to be rewarded for our hard work not because we are a suited and booted good looking male. Statistically, equality is still a long way off, with the gender and ethnicity pay gap still present (although closing) and the #MeToo movement still having an important role to play in society.
It can be a sobering thought when we consider how our daughters will find their way in the world. Will they be turned away from math simply because they feel like they aren’t good enough even though they have a passion for it? Will they shun science and technology subjects and careers simply because men seem to dominate? The answer should be no, and efforts are being made to show girls across the world just how vital they are to develop scientific and technological capabilities. It is this untapped potential that we, as a society, need to foster. Take a look at how you can ensure your daughter reaches her potential.
Lead By Example
If your child is eager to get into the chemistry lab, design an app or become a cardiovascular surgeon, it’s up to you to harness this enthusiasm. As a parent you will be the first person to see this passion, so you need to protect it rather than see it wither away. Most girls don’t enter male dominated professions because of lack of opportunity and an absence of self confidence. You need to ensure both of these are protected.
Take your daughter to listen to some female keynote speakers, take her to the best universities in the state and get her a work placement at a firm that specializes in control system design so she can see her potential career in action. Being a supportive parent can empower your daughter to achieve her goals.
Encourage a work ethic but at the same time don’t be too pushy. Yes, your daughter has expressed an interest in running her own app development company, but don’t force her to read biographies of Bill Gates when she should be enjoying time socializing with her friends. By pushing too hard, you could make your daughter disengage with her talents. Instead, reward her for her hard work, foster those moments of quality family time and make sure you keep up with the positive praise. There will be plenty of individuals who will sap your daughter’s confidence in life; don’t be one of them.
New STEM initiatives are popping up across the nation so women of industry enter into schools to talk to girls (boys) about careers they may not have even thought of. Normalizing the idea of females in powerful positions may take a generation to achieve, but it will be done. Be supportive and encourage your daughter to follow her dreams.