One step in winning the war for talent: Help create a world where little girls want to become women
My daughter MacKenzie will be seven in October. As our only child, each year has brought unexpected challenges and pleasant surprises. In her sixth year, she’s asked tough questions and started to really demonstrate the person she’s becoming. She is a very social creature and has never met a stranger. She has a huge heart and feels things deeply. She’s passionate about science, math, singing and the beach.
Several times in the last few months she’s told me something that nearly stopped my heart. She’s said, “Mommy, I don’t want to be a girl.” The first time she said it, I made the mistake of immediately giving her all the reasons that she’s wrong. I told her being a woman is an honor. I reminded her of the all the great women in her life like her grandmothers, her aunts and her teachers. As with most lectures, she quickly moved on to something else and stopped listening.
The next time she said it, I was smarter and asked, “Why honey? What are you worried about?” She told me that it was going to hurt to have a baby. She said, “It isn’t fair that I have to wear a shirt and boys don’t.” What struck me was that at this very early age, she’s already identifying some of the gaps that remain for women.continue reading »