The Battle Against Society’s Stereotypes
Jobs in the world today are competitive. It is full of strong, determined and educated individuals. For some it is difficult to reach the top at their highest potential, while for others it is easier to reach their full potential. We try navigating our ships in this competitive world trying to reach land. Only a few individuals ever get to their desired career position. How many of those are women?
Fighting for equality for female entrepreneurs is personal to me because I can proudly call myself one. Just like many females, I have experienced unfair treatment because of my gender.
When I was a curious pliant young fifth grader, I saw a poster about a basic robotics camp and I begged my parents to sign me up. That was the best decision I have ever made. However it didn’t seem like that the next day. The second I walked into the room, I noticed one thing. I was one of three girls in the camp of 50 people. The teacher put us three girls in a group together. I had no idea that I would stick with these girls for the next six years and create a nationally renowned organization dedicated to teach girls how to code using our experiences as females in robotics to support them.
Every day we would eagerly start to code and design our robot, but with every positive came another whisper or rude comment about our inability to code because we were “just girls”. Our robot ended up scoring the most points. However, to the boys, we won because of luck. We shrugged it off and continued with our lives. This was only the start of being underestimated because of our gender. We were able to do as well of a job, if not better, than the other groups in the camp, yet we were undermined because of something we could not control.
When ten females stuck together and decided to redirect their anger from people underestimating their robotics team into a program to prove them wrong, they were unstoppable. I am proud to say I am one of those 10 girls. Six years later, we have affected over one hundred young girls. Our goal was to give girls the support that they deserved to keep them motivated when others tried to knock them down. If I didn’t have the other two girls in the camp to support me when others tried to knock me down, I would have quit and my current passion for robotics would no longer exist. Not all young females are as lucky as we were.
This is why I have made it my lifelong passion to push for a Women in STEM movement. I want to raise awareness for this issue that so many women deal with, or unfortunately not enough. Society pressures women to choose careers that are associated with the gender; women: secretary and teacher, men: engineer. Society should be encouraging all people to choose the path that suits their interests. Not what suits the stereotypical interests of their gender. And unfortunately the few women who break this barrier are faced with barricades against that path their entire life. I want to take down every barricade, and support the women who choose to break it themselves.