I was having dinner with a group of my girlfriends recently when the conversation about “science, math, beauty, and brains” was brought up. While I think we have made huge strides in the department of equality for girls, this conversation reminded me that there is still so much farther to go.
It’s as if a stigma still exists that girls are supposed to do, well, “girly” things, which seems counter intuitive when asked "What you do?" Society is often surprised when we hear about a girl who loves science, technology, engineering or math because by the time they are in fourth grade, the majority of them have shied away from those subjects. Rather than perpetuate these unoriginal and limiting beliefs, I think this new generation of girls refusing to give in to an old paradigm that separates beauty and brains is paramount for the future of society.
While it may have been “surprising” for girls to be passionate about STEM in the past, I think we have a new breed of girls who realize the power and influence those subjects have on the future of our world. Soon enough it will no longer be “surprising” to see girls as leading architectural engineers building clean water wells in third world countries; or to see girls emerging as the top thought leaders in astronomy, physics, and biology rocking a lab coat; and it certainly won’t be surprising when girls start rocking the world of tech and business, pushing the definition of possibility.
Stereotypes often take time to slow down and shift gears. Girls stepping up to the plate in top leadership positions, representing industries across the board in STEM, is a future we are all working toward. In fact, I’m excited for the day that people are less surprised and more expectant when it comes to girls rocking science and math, when beauty and brains are no longer mutually exclusive, but assumed.