Responsible parenting and leadership are a start. In between reaching for the sky (Toy Story rocks).

Screw the darkness. I prefer the lightness of Pop.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Not-So-Weird Science of Girl Power

"...weird science -- things I've never seen before, behind bolted doors, talent and imagination..."

Of course I want them to be rocket scientists. Of course I want them to be the smartest people in the room, full of talent and imagination and potential. Of course I want them to transform the world for the better.

I'd prefer it not be about the differences between men and women when it comes to "rocket scientist" career paths, but there are unfortunate realities. In fact, although women make up about half of the workforce in the U.S. economy today, less than 25% of them hold STEM jobs (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). That's a lot of untapped talent in the workforce today with many cultural and institutional reasons of why.

I don't think about the fact that our girls are discouraged from learning STEM skills; I watch my girls play and experiment and learn about the world around them, including activities related to science and technology. And although they're only in preschool and pre-K, they're very much encouraged by the strong women mentors around them (teachers, aids and more).

For example, we just went to the San Jose Children's Discovery Museum where one exciting hands-on exhibit after another, including coloring ice blocks, fun bubble making, and a water whirlpool section that shoots plastic balls here and there and everywhere and seemingly defies physics altogether.

Watching their faces light up when exposed to the universe's mysteries is a delight to the Mama and me. We'll keep encouraging them to learn, regardless if they truly become rocket scientists or not, but we'll also do what we can to ensure they're not discouraged from learning STEM.

I have a psychology background and the Mama majored in marine biology, and while we don't literally work in those fields not, we're still thankful we have those foundations. The Mama even went through a physical therapy program years later and now practices PT regularly. And I've been working for HR and recruiting technology companies for 15 years.

While rooting around online today, I found the Million Women Mentor program that was created with the goal of creating a sustainable pipeline of women by mobilizing and engaging one million men and women to serve as STEM mentors by 2018.

Right on. We're in. Join us.

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