The New York Times reported Feb. 6, 2015 that parents, teachers and toy-makers discourage girls from getting into math and science. I never saw myself as being particularly good in either subject and I try not to relay this to my daughter Torie. But I’ve been able to follow her fourth-grade assignments so far. Phew!
She still has taught me some interesting methods to finding the right answers. I love that she can do this. It’s very resourceful on her part. I try not to discourage her just because she does a math problem different from how I would do it — as long as she gets the correct answers and follows the homework instructions.
I will try my best to be supportive no matter what field Torie decides to go into: science, math, engineering, technology, writing, journalism, art, medicine, aviation, etc.
And to that end, I will try to set up a role model/mentor network for her. It will cover lots of different fields. I’ll start with people I know in our lives who can either sit down with Torie in person or virtually for a little bit and offer life lessons, best practices or just nuggets of 20/20 hindsight. At first, I was going to limit this to black women and then I thought that almost everyone — regardless of race, ethnicity or gender — has something to offer. Torie’s a sponge now and I want her to have a reinforced support system that can help her look at what possibilities are out there.
I’ve been around to various professional conventions and career fairs over the years. Some of the best tips that I’ve received have been useful for life in general: Sock away every raise, pay yourself first, become fluent in another language, fake it till you make it and become friends with the janitor (they know company secrets — it’s true.)
I can give these useful nuggets to Torie, but sometimes when it comes from someone else it gets hammered home better. So let’s start hammering 🙂