Ever been a first-time CEO in a field that is made up of mainly men?
Yeah, us either. Which is why we LOVE this interview with Debbie Sterling, CEO of Goldieblox.
We’ve already established our love of all things Goldieblox, but we now have a few other reasons to add to the list…like how she thinks the overwhelming culture of perfectionism needs to change, and how she is open about how hard it is to make it in a male-dominated field.
Debbie says her mom wanted her to be an actress when she was growing up, and was kind of confused as to why a creative girl like herself wanted to get into engineering.
The images that come to mind are the car mechanic, or the Albert Einstein genius doing these long equations on the chalkboard. And that’s kind of how I thought of it at first, too.
But guess what? Engineering isn’t just for introverted math whizzes – there’s even a good chance that it could be for your creative extrovert!
Engineering needs social, creative people! Start now by exploring things like computer coding events or online coding programs! You can talk about the different kind of engineering: aerospace, biomedical, chemical, civic, mechanical, nuclear, and many others. Make sure to check your biases on this, too, which could just mean being careful not to talk about certain careers being for certain “kinds” of people. Like, perhaps that engineering is “for boys.”
However, engineering isn’t the only letter in STEM that needs some female representation. The ‘T,” as in “technology” is also seriously lacking the XX chromosome. Just this week, the tech experts and creators over at Torch shared some pretty convincing stats on why the tech industry needs more girls.
STEM industries offer some of the highest-paying, most in-demand careers – there are over 600 thousand unfilled jobs in information technology alone – yet women hold only 29 percent of STEM jobs.
There are plenty of other industries besides engineering and tech that are heavily dominated by males, including ones where males continue to be paid more than women for the same work (U.S. Women’s Soccer, anyone?)
But the GOOD news is that there IS something we can do about closing these gaps – and it can start pretty early! It could be as elementary as paying attention to the the toys that our kids play with, and the TV shows they watch.
Thanks to the efforts and changes by organizations and companies like Discovery Communications, Netflix, Girl Scouts, Scholastic, and more – our girls will learn to develop their talents and pursue their passions without limits, and so that we as a nation can meet the needs of our economy in the coming years!