28 Nov An Insider Perspective to Launching Promising Opportunities
An Insider Perspective to Launching Promising Opportunities
Valerie Martinelli, MPA
Part of my mission of coaching women to fill the gender gap is also to inspire girls to seize each opportunity to fulfill their dreams and not be discouraged by what they may be currently observing in society. Some believe that we need to focus solely on younger generations and what we can bestow to them, however, if we cannot provide them better lives and opportunities then we are setting them up for failure. So, how can teach girls that they can fulfill their dreams without worry of failure, gender bias, and an uneven playing field?
Role Models and Mentors
By giving mothers the opportunity to succeed then it offers them the ability to care for their families. Children who grow up in poverty are more likely to remain in poverty throughout adulthood. Aside from that, girls need to see that they can be whatever they want when they grow up. By filling professional roles and ranks with women, they will have the roles models and mentors that they need. When girls do not see women in STEM, science, corporate boards, entrepreneurship, and more they think that they cannot or should not be occupying those professions. I coach women to provide them with the skills and tools necessary to be successful with the additional objective of closing the gender gap. If a little girl sees her mom taking her career seriously and succeeding then she is more likely to believe that she can do the same and will set big goals for herself. It is important that current generations serve as role models and mentors for younger generations. The biggest part of closing this gender gap is giving the current workforce the skills it needs to be successful before we can even implement the tools necessary for younger generations. It is impossible to make progress and create change if there isn’t an action plan or a strategy to make our country, businesses, economy, and society a productive, dynamic, and successful one.
If girls are afforded equal opportunities in school, they can achieve and succeed academically because they will have the necessary support system. Girls should be empowered through equal opportunities, including sports, art, music, and science. Giving them an outlet to learn more, learn and build new skills, make new friends, and discover more about themselves also develops their confidence. Fostering their confidence is a huge factor for any future success because then they will not shy away from new experiences, challenges, and they will have the resilience to deal with any possible setbacks. It is the resilience that will make them stronger well into adulthood because they will bounce back easily from any disappointments, difficulties, or obstacles that life brings.
Educational opportunities also deliver problem-solving skills. The capability to solve problems readily and easily later in life will be beneficial in college and in the workplace. Interpersonal relationships and businesses can fail due to poor problem solving skills. Poor problem-solving skills can lead to issues not being recognized, not being dealt with appropriately, or in a timely or efficient manner. This is also a top interpersonal skill that employers seek and it is also one in which men have had an advantage because they tend to dominate the process and use it as an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and ability. Women tend to talk it out and rely on their communication skills before deciding on a solution. Gender differences are normal and a part of life; however, it is in the known gaps that men have an advantage.
Girls also need to be provided outlets to hone their leadership skills. Once they become teenagers, most girls’ feel that it is more important to fit in with their friends than it is to be who they are and stand up for what they believe in. In other words, girls can have good leadership skills at a young age and those skills typically are lost when they begin to shift and focus on other things in life that puberty, life, friendships, and school bring. As a society we also are not doing enough during this time period to help them maintain these skills into their twenties. Once they are in high school and college, they shift their focus once again and what is an awkward time for most teenage girls can develop into poor leadership skills if they are not given the outlet to continually learn how to become leaders who can be successful, productive, dynamic, and happy. By not enhancing these skills we also are not enhancing their confidence. Girls may be too shy to speak up in class, take on an activity or a project, or an extracurricular activity. In addition, they still are not seeing enough female role models to understand that they too are capable of these things and to inspire them into these roles.
I would like to inspire girls into these roles and believing that they too can be all that they wish if they work hard and learn the skills that are necessary. By coaching women with the objective of closing the gender gap, it is providing mothers, aunts, sisters, and more the skills necessary to teach girls what they need to learn to have equally successful, productive, and happy lives. It is important to me that we teach them that the world does not belong to men and achievements aren’t exclusive to them either. If they have the confidence and the skills and believe that they too strong, smart, and dynamic then they will have the confidence to fulfill their dreams and continue to pay it forward by inspiring others. Ladies, by working together we can continue to inspire future generations to fulfill their dreams and we too, can ensure that their wishes come true.