It should come as no surprise that technology continues to eat the world. It seems that a day can’t go by without some new advancement or breakthrough. Technology has changed our lives and especially our career paths. Today, many kids aspire to work in the tech industry. It could be due to the “cool” factor, the massive amounts of money to be made, or the pure joy of building things.
One problem that may worry many dads is that women in tech still isn’t equal to the number of men in the field. Today only 18% of computer science degree holders are women. In the 1980’s the figure was closer to 37%. Women make up only 16% of the engineering workforce. As dads it is our job to get our girls into tech. Below are some fun ways to motive your daughter(s) in technology.
Build Things Together…or Game
Pick your passion with this one. Either get to building something or pick up a controller. Regardless, be sure to include your daughter. Working together will help bring you together, develop spatial skills, and associate building and/or gaming with something and someone fun.
Back in my younger days we had “bring your child to work day”. Once a year I’d head to the office with the old man. I guess I was supposed to learn something or get inspired, but all I really wanted to do was read. I digress.
Now with everyone working from home due to the coronavirus it is a better time than any to show your daughter what you do. She will learn to appreciate what you do, but she will also get exposure to a career option. It doesn’t really matter what you do. Just do it together and take the time to explain your tasks.
What You Say And How You Say It Matter
Sometimes the best motivation will come from you, but don’t let discouragement come from you as well. We should be sure to provide the same style of explanation to our sons and daughters. It sends a message if you give your son a technical explanation, but dumb it down for your daughter. And that message is not a good one.
You can also look at the toys you are buying or chores you assign. Does the boy always mow the lawn and get Legos or science kits? Is your daughter always helping in the kitchen and getting pink and “girly” toys?
If you find the above is true then change up your style. Expose both of your children to the fact that gender stereotypes can be challenged.
Whether you use some of the suggestions above or come up with your own ideas, all that matters is that you encourage your daughter in the world of tech. Don’t force the topic, but be sure to provide encouragement and guidance. It can be a rewarding experience work and learn together.