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Friday, June 27, 2008

Empowering Girls: Nerd Girls

Check out these stats from a Newsweek story on Nerd Girls:

Forty years ago women made up just 3 percent of science and engineering jobs; now they make up about 20 percent. That sounds promising, until you consider that women earn 56 percent of the degrees in those fields. A recent Center for Work-Life Policy study found that 52 percent of women leave those jobs, with 63 percent saying they experienced workplace harassment and more than half believing they needed to "act like a man" in order to succeed. In the past, women dealt with that reality in two ways: some buried their femininity, while others simply gave up their techie interests to appear more feminine.

Read Newsweek's story, Revenge of the Nerdette, to find out about THIS generations' Nerd Girls strategy for staying in their science professions.

Here's a hint - they aren't quitting and they aren't dressing like their male counterparts. They are calling themselves "Nerd-a-licious."

Send your brainy daughter over to join nerdgirls.com

5 comments:

Manager Mom said...

I read this article, and while I like the fact that it emphasized that you could be feminine and still be smart, it's just kind of inherently annoying that they even WRITE articles about the shoes of a girl who is building a brilliant solar car or whatever. I mean, did anyone ever ask Stephen Hawking "who he was wearing?"

Tracee said...

I get it. On the one hand we have equal brains and on the other hand - they are girls. Evidently the lab isn't that welcoming to girls. Hostility makes the lab less appealing to girls.

For MY daughter, I know images like this SELL the nerd/geek girl thing. I can pretend to be "above fashion or looks" (really I highlight my hair and feel as good as anyone wearing a new outfit).

My daughter is most definately more inclined to be attracted to a profession or career if it's as flashy and girly as all the other images she's inundated with. She's brainy, but like every other girl in Image Obsessed America, she find the images of those Nerd Girls more appealing as a potential future than she does the image of a drab woman wearing a lab coat and a conservative bun.

jamboree said...

It just grates that they even refer to themselves as "girls." I think that just undercuts the powerful image they are going for, and is still sending a message of "don't worry, we're only 'girls' and won't threaten you too much, if at all."

Maybe I'm reading too much into it...

Tracee said...

Well, they are girls (seriously they are college kids and it's not like everyone calls college kids "ladies" or "women")

Did you read the stat which said over half of the women leave the science professions because they were harassed or they had to "act like men."

These girls are turning to a pop culture exaggerated femininity and celebrating their "girlness."

What's wrong with being a girl or calling yourself one?

Alexandra said...

My God, you've just voiced one of my main terrors in life. I'm a Science student and my majors are ecology, statistics and mathematics. One department is trying to breach its gender divide, the other has over 50% female graduates and roughly 10% female academics. If that. The maths dept. is doing better than the biology one.
I am still really worried that I won't be able to get a job because my lecturers are all men and there's either paternal fondness or casual disinterest. That's not everybody but it is what I'm scared of. These people are my potential peers, should I make it into the professional sphere, what they think of me matters. I'm not one of the girls getting my degree to find a good husband (a more predominant attitude in Law degrees, from what my lawyerly friends hear) so I'm stuck.
I have a distinction average yet one of my reasons for keeping my math major is so I can become a highschool math teacher in the future should my attempts at becoming an academic fail. It's an honourable position but it has no respect when it deserves so much and it isn't what I want from life.
How pathetic is that?

Friday, June 27, 2008

Empowering Girls: Nerd Girls

Check out these stats from a Newsweek story on Nerd Girls:

Forty years ago women made up just 3 percent of science and engineering jobs; now they make up about 20 percent. That sounds promising, until you consider that women earn 56 percent of the degrees in those fields. A recent Center for Work-Life Policy study found that 52 percent of women leave those jobs, with 63 percent saying they experienced workplace harassment and more than half believing they needed to "act like a man" in order to succeed. In the past, women dealt with that reality in two ways: some buried their femininity, while others simply gave up their techie interests to appear more feminine.

Read Newsweek's story, Revenge of the Nerdette, to find out about THIS generations' Nerd Girls strategy for staying in their science professions.

Here's a hint - they aren't quitting and they aren't dressing like their male counterparts. They are calling themselves "Nerd-a-licious."

Send your brainy daughter over to join nerdgirls.com

5 comments:

Manager Mom said...

I read this article, and while I like the fact that it emphasized that you could be feminine and still be smart, it's just kind of inherently annoying that they even WRITE articles about the shoes of a girl who is building a brilliant solar car or whatever. I mean, did anyone ever ask Stephen Hawking "who he was wearing?"

Tracee said...

I get it. On the one hand we have equal brains and on the other hand - they are girls. Evidently the lab isn't that welcoming to girls. Hostility makes the lab less appealing to girls.

For MY daughter, I know images like this SELL the nerd/geek girl thing. I can pretend to be "above fashion or looks" (really I highlight my hair and feel as good as anyone wearing a new outfit).

My daughter is most definately more inclined to be attracted to a profession or career if it's as flashy and girly as all the other images she's inundated with. She's brainy, but like every other girl in Image Obsessed America, she find the images of those Nerd Girls more appealing as a potential future than she does the image of a drab woman wearing a lab coat and a conservative bun.

jamboree said...

It just grates that they even refer to themselves as "girls." I think that just undercuts the powerful image they are going for, and is still sending a message of "don't worry, we're only 'girls' and won't threaten you too much, if at all."

Maybe I'm reading too much into it...

Tracee said...

Well, they are girls (seriously they are college kids and it's not like everyone calls college kids "ladies" or "women")

Did you read the stat which said over half of the women leave the science professions because they were harassed or they had to "act like men."

These girls are turning to a pop culture exaggerated femininity and celebrating their "girlness."

What's wrong with being a girl or calling yourself one?

Alexandra said...

My God, you've just voiced one of my main terrors in life. I'm a Science student and my majors are ecology, statistics and mathematics. One department is trying to breach its gender divide, the other has over 50% female graduates and roughly 10% female academics. If that. The maths dept. is doing better than the biology one.
I am still really worried that I won't be able to get a job because my lecturers are all men and there's either paternal fondness or casual disinterest. That's not everybody but it is what I'm scared of. These people are my potential peers, should I make it into the professional sphere, what they think of me matters. I'm not one of the girls getting my degree to find a good husband (a more predominant attitude in Law degrees, from what my lawyerly friends hear) so I'm stuck.
I have a distinction average yet one of my reasons for keeping my math major is so I can become a highschool math teacher in the future should my attempts at becoming an academic fail. It's an honourable position but it has no respect when it deserves so much and it isn't what I want from life.
How pathetic is that?