A friend of mine asked if I had died since he hadn't seen a post in a a bit. Well, all is well and I had a great ski outing with my son (first father-son effort). During the week, a friend of mine, Rob Albertson, forwarded on an interesting post by Vivian Wu as a guest blogger on TechCrunch titled Next Generation Entrepreneurs Compete at Google HQ. Google sponsored a business contest for 12 year old girls. I think this is awesome. I think all of the emerging efforts to teach entrepreneurship to our kids whether in the Inner City (NFTE), schools (BizWorld, Junior Achievement) or targeted at segments like girls are critical for all of us.
Entrepreneurship is critical for innovation in everything we do whether it is in non-for-profits, start-ups or within large corporations. I especially think it is key to get to our girls to instill in them the belief that they can succeed in Science, Technology, Math, Business and any traditionally male dominated fields. I see girls who love science and are good at Math fade into the Humanities because, in many cases, everything around them has told them they are not welcome.
Don't get Anne Mulcahy started on this topic. She watched her daughters bump into the double standard in math (teachers telling them it was okay if they didn't quite get the math since "they were girls"). She has told her daughters that they can do as they please after they have mastered Advanced Calculus.
I was interested to hear that there are no cheerleaders for the local New Trier High School Football team. It is now cool for the girls to be participants on the athletic field in soccer, lacrosse and field hockey rather than cheering on the boys. I don't say this to put down cheer leading, but rather to comment that girls are feeling more empowered, and it is about time. We are vastly outnumbered by China and India. We need to have every member of society feeling empowered, engaged and fully productive.
Now, I want to know how to get this program to my daughters' schools...