Monthly Archives: March 2016

Opportunity

28th March 2016

I was recently in Thailand on my belated honeymoon and, as often happens when I travel, I was struck by how fortunate I am to have had the education and opportunities than many girls across the world do not have access to.

The fact that here in the United States all girls are given the right to an education and the freedom to do so is an opportunity no one should squander.

However, the attitude towards education in our culture does not always reflect this. Many kids view school as boring and a waste of time instead of the huge privilege that it is. And even worse, sometimes they may not have the right type of influence to show them the amazing opportunity learning really is.

Thankfully, this mentality is shifting as more and more people are talking about this issue and finding ways to change the conversation.

Programs like the ones at Girls Inc., which can give girls an extra push or a mentor to look up to, are one way we can re-shape the way school is viewed.

Programs and institutions like these give students more resources and opportunities to understand what they are capable of and how they can take control of their lives through education.

But even if you do not have time to volunteer or partner with an organization like Girls Inc., there are some simple steps you can take to help amplify this message.

Just bringing up this topic as a talking point in your social circles or having a conversation with your kids could make them rethink how they view education and schooling.

What do you think we can do to make help girls reach their fullest potential? What have you done to change the conversation?

This post originally appeared on the Girls Inc. blog.

The Power of Mentors

3rd March 2016

While there is greater emphasis than ever before on giving girls the opportunity to take the lead, we still have a ways to go in order to ensure that when they have the chance to do so, they are equipped for success.

And one of the best ways we can do this, is by giving girls mentors at a young age.

This issue is especially important when it comes to recent findings suggesting women in leadership roles are at a higher risk of becoming depressed than their male peers.

The study, done by the University of Texas at Austin and published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, found that when women are in positions where they are managing others and have the ability to hire or fire people, they are more likely to suffer from symptoms of depression.

The authors attributed the development of these symptoms to numerous issues, including gender bias when it comes to behavior that is deemed acceptable for men in the workplace versus women.

Tetyana Pudrovska, a sociologist who helped lead the study, said of the findings, “Women in authority positions are viewed as lacking the assertiveness and confidence of strong leaders. But when these women display such characteristics, they are judged negatively for being unfeminine. This contributes to chronic stress.”

Unfortunately, until more systematic change is put into place, it will be a long while before women stop feeling this way in the workplace.

But there is one method that can drastically help women in these situations and it is something that can be done before they even enter the workplace.

It is something that is a core part of what is done at Girls Inc., giving young women mentors to support them from a young age with the process of choosing a career and what to expect in that field.

“A strong mentor can point women to strategies that work to navigate the inevitable stereotyping and resistance,” psychologist Nathilee Caldera told Fast Company in a recent article about the findings.

Do you agree with the findings of this study? How has having a mentor helped shape your career?

This post originally appeared on the Girls Inc. blog.