Why girls must hear they’re pretty brilliant, not just pretty

science girl

science girl

“Who’s my pretty girl?” “Don’t get that dress dirty!” Sound familiar? These phrases may sound innocent enough, but a compelling new ad will make you see them in a new light.

It’s said that children are natural-born scientists – why then, are the adult worlds of science and engineering largely dominated by men?

A United States ad for telecommunications company Verizon squarely puts the spotlight on social cues that turn girls off pursuits seen as traditionally for boys. It is based on a National Science Foundation statistic that 66 per cent of fourth-grade girls (aged nine or 10) say they like science and maths, but only 18 per cent of college engineering students are women.

The video shows a girl growing from toddler to teenager, over time exploring nature, school science projects, and rocket-building with her brother. Along the way, we hear remarks from her parents including those above, as well as “you don’t want to mess with that”, “this project has gotten out of hand” and “why don’t you hand that (drill) to your brother”? The final scene is a powerful reminder that seemingly minor off-hand comments can have a major and lasting impact.

The “Inspire her Mind” ad is a campaign by Verizon and women’s video site Makers. It’s narrated by Reshma Saujani of Girls Who Code, a program aiming to reach gender parity in computing fields. I’m happy to admit that the final question posed in the video gave me a bit of a jolt – check it out below and let us know what you think.

(via Huffington Post)

Michelle Rose

Michelle Rose

Michelle is a journalist and mum to two girls who are obsessed with dinosaurs, fairies, pirates and princesses in equal measure. She lives in Melbourne's east with her husband, daughters and a giant, untameable labradoodle. Michelle loves all things vegetarian, wine (it's a fruit) and online shopping.

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