Since staring my own company, I am more aware than ever at the importance of building up young girls’ self esteem and encouraging them to follow their dreams. I was lucky to be raised by wonderful parents and a particularly strong mother who encouraged me to be independent. I can only imagine how difficult this journey would be without their support.
One of the things I’ve become aware of is how people talk differently to little boys and little girls. Boys are expected to take risks and get in trouble. You know the saying, “boys will be boys”. While girls are encouraged to be cute while playing with dolls and kitchens. Are we potentially grooming them for motherhood? I know these are generalizations and not all boys and girls fit these stereotypes, but there is some truth to them. I read a great article on this in the Huffington Post titled How to Talk to Little Girls and it really opened my eyes.
I even caught myself in this juxtaposition recently. I was snowboarding and started a conversation with a family on the gondola ride up. They had a little boy and a little girl between the ages of 6 and 8 (I’m guessing). The little boy (who was younger) was talking about how good he was and what his favorite runs were. The little girl was sitting there being shy and quiet. He was so excited that it was easy to have a conversation with him, but I wanted to engage the little girl too. I started asking her about her favorite runs and she modestly replied. Our ride was pretty quick, but I hope I was able to show here that I was interested in what she had to say too.
In addition to the article from the Huffington Post, there has been lots of talk about girls in business recently and I couldn’t be happier. Here are a few more articles I’ve found interesting.
The Case for Girls (infographic) from Fast Company
Louis C.K. talking about his daughters and how the next Steve Jobs will be a chick (his language, not mine)
A discussion about female led businesses and their access to venture capital (warning: it’s long, but good)
Photo by: The Real Estreya