Looking Forward Into Women’s History By Empowering Today’s Girls
By Marilyn Brown, President, Franklin County Board of Commissioners
I recently attended the Girl Scouts of Ohio’s Heartland “State of the Girl” breakfast, which focused on increasing exposure, support, and educational opportunity to girls and young women to enter STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields. The report and supporting materials (many of which are the basis of this article) are online at http://bit.ly/1rMU6Sr
I encourage each of you reading this to look for ways that your business can heed a call to action – by becoming a mentor, advocating for girls and women in your STEM-related employment, and offering girls a chance to shadow, observe, visit, intern with your STEM workers.
Our current generation of girls can be and will be the STEM experts of the future. Let’s get on board with this concept and encourage our girls, daughters, sisters, friends – all girls – to become a part of it. Girls do just as well in math and science as boys do, but their confidence in their math and science abilities is lower than boys’. When girls feel capable and confident in their abilities, they’re more likely to challenge themselves and overcome any ob-stacles along the way. Internal assets are just as important as experience, exposure, and education, with confidence in her abilities in math and science the key to a girl moving for-ward in a STEM field. Girls should embrace their knowledge and abilities rather than be influenced by what society say they should and shouldn’t be. And it’s important that we adults remind girls what they’re capable of—and that their roles in life are limitless!
Let’s encourage young girls to inquire about the world, solve problems, and to use their natural curiosity, creativity, and experimentation when at play. Help a girl to understand how things grow in a garden, what things look like under a micro-scope, how to measure ingredients to bake a cake, or how to build a piece of furniture from IKEA. Find the answers together. This inquisitiveness and fun can lead to innovative and enjoyable work in the future.
Thank you all for your partnership in helping to close the STEM-gap for Franklin County’s youngest women. What we all do today will shape the future of women’s history for us all.
Contact the Girl Scouts of Ohio’s Heartland for more information or to become involved today. CEO Tammy Wharton can be reached at TWharton@gsoh.org and (614) 487-8101.