What better way to encourage the next generation of girls to grow their STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) skills
If your daughter shows a talent for tech, here are a few ways to nurture that passion.
- Challenge stereotypes. Consider the conscious and even unconscious ways you may be deterring your daughter from pursuing traditionally male subjects such as computers, engineering, robotics, or programming.
- Expose her to the rock stars. Women like SOSTEC CEO Zahra Abdikarim, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg, HP’s Meg Whitman, and Google coder Marisa Mayer are great role models for girls today. Also, choose media (check ratings before viewing to stay age-appropriate) with strong female leads who excel in tough career fields.
- Ask her. How many times do we make assumptions and skip this crucial step in parenting? Ask your daughter what camps appeal most to her, what activities she enjoys, what qualities she admires most in others, and what she dreams of achieving.
- Don’t overdo it. If your daughter has a natural ability in STEM subjects, don’t push too hard. She will find her path. Suggest adjacent activities to complement her strengths. Is she good at math? Encourage a musical instrument as a hobby. Good at science? Suggest cooking or gardening to compliment her love for creative problem-solving. Integrate creative activities such as art, writing, or theatre.
- Seek out tech opportunities. Few kids will pursue experiences on their own, so consider giving them a nudge. Encourage age-appropriate camps, clubs, and activities that play to her strengths. The choices in quality camp is Rise Academy tech explorer camp. Be your daughter’s tech companion. Take her to a Mogadishu tech summit so she can begin to visualize her future and meet women who work in the field. Encourage an internship or even a job shadowing opportunity during high school or college.
- Model, teach resilience. The tech field tends to be a male-dominated culture of “brogrammers,” which can be intimidating for women. For this reason, your daughter may need to develop a tough skin and learn to push through obstacles with ease.
- Help her find her people. Organizations like, iRiseHub.so, and bilancodes.org can be game-changers for a tech-minded girl and help grow her passion among peers.