The self-limiting beliefs these stereotypes create can snowball to affect a girl's trajectory and future career choices. They may even discourage women to pursue prestigious careers, especially in fields that value brilliance.
Girls are 3X less likely to be given a science-related toy than boys.2
Parents are 2X more likely to ask Google "is my son gifted?" than "is my daughter gifted?"3
As girls grow older, they lose confidence in their smarts relative to boys.4
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We're committed to learning more about the Dream Gap and how we can help. This is a highly under-researched issue that needs our attention, so we'll be funding a research program in collaboration with Associate Professor Andrei Cimpian from New York University. Globally, we're working with local researchers to identify what issues may be holding girls back from fulfilling their potential around the world.
We're committed to highlighting at least 10 empowering female role models each year. Because imagining she can be anything is just the beginning, actually seeing that she can makes all the difference. We'll also be dedicating research to identify the most effective ways to share role model stories with girls that will inspire them and their futures.LEARN MORE
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Together, we can help the next generation of girls transcend the Dream Gap.
Below are some ways you can support the girls in your life.
Show girls positive female role models of all ages. By introducing them to stories and journeys of women from all walks of life, they begin to see more opportunities for themselves.
Limit exposure to media that reinforces negative stereotypes. Instead, expose girls to content that challenges gender stereotypes.
Nurture their social and emotional learning through themes like overcoming challenges, collaborating with others, dealing with negative emotions, believing in yourself, etc.
Studies suggest that everyone does better when hard work is believed to be the key to success. When kids believe they can get smarter through dedication and hard work, they put in extra time and effort, and that leads to higher achievement.
Success, it turns out, correlates just as closely with confidence as it does with competence.
Encourage discovery through open-ended, unstructured play that fosters divergent thinking and innovation.
Actively encourage the girls in your life to pursue their dreams. Show and tell girls they can do anything.
1Study conducted by researchers at New York University, the University of Illinois, and Princeton University.
2OECD, Education Indicators in Focus, October 2017. 3US Google Trends. 4Omnibus study by Enso.