I am really excited for this week’s topic because I have spent all semester researching and preparing for this week’s presentation! The topic this week is “Human Rights”. It’s such a broad topic it’s hard to cover everything. I wanted to cover something I really am intrigued by.
I was on my way home from New York when I saw that one of my choices on this 6-hour flight back home was some TED Talks. I was lucky enough to stumble upon a TED Talk given by Reshma Saujani, the founder of a non-profit organization called Girls Who Code.
“Girls Who Code is a non-profit organization which aims to support and increase the number of women in computer science. The organization runs summer programs which teach computing and programming skills to high school girls.” (Wikipedia)
Reshma spoke about her past and how it relates to her future. However, what I was inspired and shook by was what she said about women and men in this society. “girls are raised to be perfect while boys are raised to ‘be brave’. (TED Talk)
This quote really hit me because I feel like I can relate to this so strongly. She spoke about how men are more likely to apply for a job when they only fit 60% of the qualifications. Then, women won’t apply for this same job unless they fit 100% of the qualifications. She alluded to the fact that this makes women choose careers that are more ‘safe’ than risky, because society has taught them that they cannot fail—they have to be perfect. This denies women a chance to grow. After growing up in gymnastics, and crafting my mind and morals around a sport where ‘perfection’ actually existed in a score of a ‘perfect 10’—I feel this pressure constantly. I have found myself more likely to choose situations that I know I will succeed at, rather than picking something that I know I have a good chance to fail. This has been something I have been working on my whole life because I have been made aware of it. The scary thing is—some women aren’t. They spend their entire lives being “perfect’ instead of brave and their abilities are cut short.
Reshma and I have the same beliefs about spreading the word about being brave. Whether it’s taking on a new career in coding, or applying for that job you might fail at—be brave. We want to teach our girls that being brave is even better than always being perfect.
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