I do not generally have conversations about women vs men or whatever. I like to think of society of being equal, but I know this to not be true. Recently, there was a viral video released as a Verizon commercial. It took me a week or so to get around to watch it but it struck me hard. In case you have not seen the video, you can watch it here.
Let that sink in and gather your thoughts an emotions. Basically, as this girl is growing up, she is told she should not do things because that is what boys do. She should focus on being a girl. I was fortunate enough to grow up with family who encouraged me to explore my love of science and math. Through college, I strived to help get girls involved and excited about science. I wrongly believed that schools should help. This commercial has shown me that I am wrong. Schools can do all they want, but if the girls are getting negative reinforcement at home, that will do nothing to help the 18% statistic shown at the end.
So, I thought that was the end. A few days later, I received an email summary from LinkedIn with a link to words that every girl should learn. This seemed like a very good “next step to the commercial I had seen earlier”. The 18% of girls who make it out of school, go into very male-dominated fields. And male-dominated it is. Unfortunately, there are a lot of males in leadership positions who consciously or un-consciously do not respect the young women they lead. All too often, the young women are talked over, interrupted, ignored, etc. This can be pretty frustrating so this article discusses suggestions for combating this.
“Stop interrupting me.”
“I just said that.”
“No explanation needed.”
While these things are pretty hard to say, it is important to defend yourself otherwise you get walked all over. This goes for men and women both.
This had to be the end, right? The next night, I saw this plot sent to someone on facebook.
I had many thoughts about it:
1. Sweet, I have the highest IQ in the world! (Well people with my degree)
2. Wow, there are hardly any fields with fewer girls than Physics
Then, I started to think about it more. Why is it that as there are more female majors, the IQ drops? Is it because women are dumb? I really hope not. I think it goes back to society. There is a common saying out there; “dumb blonde”. Basically, blonde girls are allowed to be dumb. Why? There is no male equivalent. Is a boy acted like a “dumb blonde”, he would be an outcast. So is this plot because of society?
So, what do you guys think? The facts show that there are not enough girls going into science and engineering. So what can we do to reverse that trend?