I interviewed a group of elementary school age girls on this video as it relates to my upcoming web series NEXT, a scripted dramedy in which I play the CEO, about a female led tech start-up in Silicon Valley on a corporate retreat where they must give up all their electronic gadgets and be left to their own devices.
Gender inequality in tech held positions is common and is due to a multitude of reasons. The video conveys the young girls’ love for math, but due in large part to sociological stereotypes, wavers as she ages.
Girls do just as well as boys in math throughout school. A few explanations for the ebb in a girl’s interest level are “math anxiety” which can be passed on to female students from female teachers, parents, peers, and media. The “nerd factor” associated with math and science at a time in a girls’ development when she is surrounded with images of cool, sexy, and attractive women being complimented for their appearance. And, girls are still being directed away from technology into “more appropriate” careers by relatives, teachers, and parents.
The Department of Commerce says that women fill about 50 percent of all jobs in the U.S. economy, but actually hold less than 25 percent of STEM positions (science, technology, engineering and math). Again, there are many reasons for this, but I believe it all begins with our young girls.
It is imperative that we encourage young girls to follow their interests in STEM related fields while providing them exposure to these areas. Our world is ever more dependent on technology and needs the contribution from all great minds. That’s why organizations like Goldieblox, Women2.0, and the Geena Davis Institute on Gender Equality in Media among others are so important.
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