We are living in the age of the #GIRLBOSS. From international stars like Beyonce who have evolved the view of feminism to global executives like Marissa Mayer and Sheryl Sandberg who encourage us to lean in, the perspective of women in society is changing for the better.
And it’s about damn time.
Frankly, I’m so tired of females being viewed as weak, unskilled and one dimensional.
We are strong. We are brave. We are fearless.
But we aren’t teaching our daughters to be like that.
However, organizations like the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas are teaching girls that they can accomplish anything they put their minds too by exposing them to possibilities that were once viewed as being only for boys. And I couldn’t be more excited to see that work is underway for the first STEM Center of Excellence at Camp Whispering Cedars.
Located in Southern Dallas, the STEM Center will be a living laboratory where girls in grades kindergarten through 12th grade can explore science, technology, engineering and math programs, activities and careers in a unique girl-centered outdoor leadership environment. This 21st-century facility and program will provide the leadership skills, experience, mentors and encouragement that girls need to increase their interest in STEM.
Despite the fact that technology is rapidly evolving, creating more jobs in the industry, there is still a low number of women in computer science and engineering, and experts say this is very concerning for the future.
In 2014, women made up only 22% of the STEM workforce. One of the ways to close this gender gap is for women to see other women in the technology fields so that they can see what they can become. But truthfully, this exposure needs to happen before they enter the workforce. Girls need to be introduced to these science-based career options at a young age so that they can see what their options are.
I have always applauded the Girl Scouts for the leadership and overall life skills that they teach girls. From something as simple as learning how to start a fire without dangerous lighter fluid to the entrepreneurial experiences they glean from selling Girl Scouts cookies. It’s more than just tasty treats; it’s truly a business.
The Girl Scouts have been teaching girls these lessons for more than a century, and finally the rest of the world finally caught on. Brands like Tampex have shifted the thinking of “Like a Girl,” to be one of strength and determination. Under Armour has encouraged female athletes and fitness enthusiasts to “do what they want.”
And now we can add the STEM Center of Excellence to list of programs that will change way girls and even women see themselves in the world. The grand opening of the center is slated for April 8-9, 2016.