Boys and girls are often treated differently growing up. Where boys are encouraged to rough and tumble, compete and strive, many girls are told to keep themselves nice, be polite and not bossy.
But this is something that Reshma Saujani says is ruining young girl’s chances in the workplace – as they’re socialised from an early age not to aim too high.
In her recent TED talk, Reshma outlines what happens when girls and boys are brought up this way.
“Most girls are taught to avoid risk and failure,” she told audiences.
“We're taught to smile pretty, play it safe, get all A's. Boys, on the other hand, are taught to play rough, swing high, crawl to the top of the monkey bars and then just jump off headfirst. And by the time they're adults, whether they're negotiating a raise or even asking someone out on a date, they're habituated to take risk after risk.
“In other words, we're raising our girls to be perfect, and we're raising our boys to be brave.”
Reshma explains that the effects of this is fewer women in boardrooms, in government, in pretty much anywhere you look – and this isn’t down to a lack of ability.
Despite girls outperforming boys during their schooling, they are more likely, according to Saujani, to doubt their abilities.
“An HP report found that men will apply for a job if they meet only 60 percent of the qualifications, but women, women will apply only if they meet 100 percent of the qualifications. 100 percent.
"This study is usually invoked as evidence that, well, women need a little more confidence. But I think it's evidence that women have been socialized to aspire to perfection, and they're overly cautious.”
Pretty worrying statistics, and ones that Reshma, who runs an education non-profit, wants desperately to change.
“We have to socialize our girls to be comfortable with imperfection, and we've got to do it now. We cannot wait for them to learn how to be brave like I did when I was 33 years old. We have to teach them to be brave in schools and early in their careers, when it has the most potential to impact their lives and the lives of others, and we have to show them that they will be loved and accepted not for being perfect but for being courageous.
“And so I need each of you to tell every young woman you know -- your sister, your niece, your employee, your colleague -- to be comfortable with imperfection, because when we teach girls to be imperfect, and we help them leverage it, we will build a movement of young women who are brave and who will build a better world for themselves and for each and every one of us.”
Check out Reshma’s non profit Girls who Code for more information.
- Family8 foodie road trip adventures that your family will love
Now To LoveToday 5:00pm
- Diet & NutritionIs margarine actually bad for you? Four myths busted
Now To LoveToday 4:00pm
- At homeHow the right retirement village enabled mum to be mum again
Now To LoveToday 2:25pm
- RoyalsPrince Harry's stunning wildlife photography is revealed in celebration of Earth Day
Now To LoveToday 11:31am
- RoyalsHow the Royal Family spent the day on the Queen’s 93rd birthday
Now To LoveToday 9:15am
- CareerThe Kiwi couple who are making comfy prosthetic breasts
New Zealand Woman's WeeklyToday 9:00am
- At homeWhy a magazine subscription is the perfect gift for you or someone you love
Now To LoveToday 9:00am
- CareerAnnabelle White's recipe to living a happy, contented life
New Zealand Woman's WeeklyToday 8:42am
- FamilyFamily meal inspiration: Jo Seagar's 'loaves and fishes' approach to family meals
The Australian Women's WeeklyYesterday 12:00pm
- MindWhy travel memories play an important part in helping to develop our personality
Good Health ChoicesYesterday 10:00am
- TVDancing With The Stars' Manu Vatuvei's biggest fear when it comes to the dance floor
Woman's DayYesterday 8:00am
- Celebrity NewsDoting dad Ronan Keating enjoys a family day out at Auckland's waterfront
Woman's DayApr 21, 2019
- BodyMatilda Green talks motherhood, mental wellbeing and her plans for the future
Good Health ChoicesApr 21, 2019
- FitnessThese dance workouts will be so fun that you won't even feel like you're exercising
Good Health ChoicesApr 20, 2019
- RoyalsHappy birthday Her Majesty! Celebrating 93 years with Queen Elizabeth II
Now To LoveApr 20, 2019