By: Teresa Sabatine, Guest BloggerJune 25, 2015
This past month at Nike my team had the honor of hosting ten local High School students at our video production facilities. The students had all signed up for a film and media class as their elective. Their end of the semester final project was to work with our producers to create their own 45-second Nike commercial.
The day went really well. The students received a hands on experience of what it would take to film a real commercial from collaborative brainstorming to shooting and editing. Their content was creative, exploratory and we had a lot of fun.
Unfortunately, one thing stuck out to me. There were no girls in the class.
When I was a little girl my parents did an exceptional job at reminding me that I could be or do anything that I wanted. On the other hand I played with a lot of dolls, I focused deeply on English literature, I took advanced history classes instead of mathematics and science.
My sophomore year in high school, my chemistry teacher asked me if I wanted to be a part of an advanced summer program for students with great potential in the sciences. I remember thinking, “Me, no, you don’t want me. I am terrible at science.” But somewhere inside of me I believed, below all of the negative voices, that I could actually be a really good doctor. I just didn’t have the courage to tell anyone.
I don’t know where the idea actually stemmed from. Had a teacher told me once that I wasn’t very good at math and science? Were my struggles early on in these focuses what led to me believe that science, technology, engineering, and math would just never be for me? Was it that as I reflected on the great scientists, doctors, lawyers, film directors, architects, and world leaders that appeared in my textbooks or on the news I saw that they were mostly men? I am not sure.
But I am here to tell you that none of that matters. I am here to tell you that you can do and be anything that you want. That doesn’t mean you are going to be exceptional at all of these things. What it means is you can try them all. If there is one sparkle of interest in something, just go for it.
If you are the only girl that signs up for the video and film elective at your high school, who cares? Do it anyway. If you are the only girl in the after school math league, who cares? Show up anyway. If you are the only female director to ever win an Oscar (Kathryn Ann Bigelow) because you decided to go to grad school for film and it inspired you to make movies, CELEBRATE. We need more of you.
Gender has nothing to do with whether or not you will be good at something.
Gender does not matter. I say this to both girls and boys. Gender has nothing to do with whether or not you will be good at something. Shut out the voices that have ever told you that you can’t or that physics, English, drama, engineering, music, technology, and being President of the United States aren’t for you.
There are no rules. You can do and be anything that you want.
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Teresa is a TV/Film Producer and Business Consultant who has a passion for cultivating more women leaders and creators in entertainment. In her spare time she mentors women on career and personal growth with a focus on tuning out the negative noise and turning up the positive self-talk. Since losing her mother to cancer in 2008 she has made it her mission to carry on her mom’s passion for helping others into her own life and will stop at nothing to create a world where gender and race are no longer an issue. You can read more of her writings at www.teresasabatine.com.
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