Friday, October 5, 2012

Girls, gender roles and "man" fields: Book review

How can we unlock the brilliance of our girl children if we use stereotypes and gender roles from the beginning?

I received some answers and more questions to this question when reading Unlocking Your Brilliance: Smart Strategies for Women to Thrive in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math "

First, I have to say that for college, I went to a pretty good engineering school, but went there not knowing what an engineer "does." It was nearby and I had a scholarship. I was liberal arts undeclared and finished up with a BS in Social Sciences and BA in Scientific and Technical Communications. I had engineering roommates, but girls were out numbered three to one, as the engineering fields were and still are male-dominated.

As a parent of two young children (boy and girl) I really feel it is important to not pigeon hole children into gender-specific roles. It happens SOOO young. My daughter can be an engineer (like her father) or a beautician or a mechanic. My son could be any of those as well! When we talk to children about life, we shouldn't assume that a girl "can't" do something and we should be just as encouraging to girls as we are to boys and vice versa. If they have the drive, they can succeed.

The book goes deeper and for current women in engineering fields (or any math dominated fields) and discusses tactics on how to overcome obstacles, such as: "holding your head high" and for moms especially, "having it all."

Disclosure: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for the review. However, this does not impact my view or what I post here!

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