My daughter wants to be a fashion designer when she grows up. So does your daughter. Or else she wants to be a teacher, or a ballerina, or a veterinarian, or a princess. When my daughter tells me “Mommy, when I grow up I want to be a fashion designer” I answer her with “By fashion designer, you mean a physicist riiiiiight?”
Not that there is anything wrong with being a fashion designer, or a ballerina, or a teacher. These are all perfectly wonderful careers for any person to have, but while some moms fantasize about their daughter’s wedding day or her winning an Oscar or becoming President, I fantasize about mine winning a Nobel Prize. Science is awesome you guys, and sadly a lot of girls don’t pursue careers in the field of science for numerous reasons, as outlined here:
Recent studies have refuted claims that there is an innate difference in abilities between the sexes; instead, these studies suggest that the smaller proportions of girls pursuing careers in math and science in the United States may be caused by cultural differences and expectations (University of Wisconsin–Madison, 2009).
Three strategies related to self-efficacy that have some degree of research support are (1) teaching students that academic abilities are not fixed, but expandable and improvable, (2) exposing girls to female role models who have succeeded in math and science, and (3) providing informational feedback.
So if we need to expose our girls to female role models in the fields of math and science, these ladies who are a group of Bristol psychologists have done the work for us, all in a kickass video that shows lady scientists being ladies and acting just like any other lady in a slickly produced music video, except they wear more clothing.
Even though this is a parody video done in response to a really sad video produced by the European Commission entitled “Science: It’s a Girl Thing,” this video actually does more than poke fun at the EC’s depiction of lady scientists, it is actually very inspiring, especially when you see the credits of the ladies at the end of the video, with their PhDs in neuroscience and MScs in animal behavior.
I want more from these women! I want more videos talking about what their careers entail and a website with articles aimed at young girls and T-shirts. My daughter is still young enough where she will change her career path numerous times, and at her young age, she still excels in science. I’m just happy that I have some new role models to show her in a different field other than Vera Wang interviews on You Tube.