This past Saturday, across the country, there were meetups about the White House Equal Futures challenge. From Philadelphia to Los Angeles, from Boston to Florida, there were participants involved in discussing how girls would create applications to inspire their peers (and other age groups) to pursue underrepresented careers.
#fact I am a Girl Scout. As in a lifetime member. After college, I haven’t been involved much, so my greatest joy was seeing Girl Scouts participating in this event. I think my experience there was one of the greatest contributors to my leadership development.
The day began with a Hangout+ from each city (girls participating at events in Boston, Philly, and LA; representatives from the White House, and the event organizer broadcasting from Florida). Lots of talking from representative orgs about how they feel about increasing diversity, and a fair amount of bragging about who would make the winning app 😉
The fascinating part of this event was hearing girls come up with their own ideas of what they thought would reach their peers. A couple groups suggested an AMA-style app for girls to connect with public figures. A commonality that saddened me, but made sense based on the day’s topic:
Clear theme emerges in #WHEqualFuturesphl , girls want to go into STEM and politics careers but need more female role models
— Mrs Marina (@Marina_Rakhlin) January 5, 2013
I swear when we went around the room for introductions, I overemphasized SOFTWARE ENGINEER as my title. I probably also shared some propaganda about why I think engineering is awesome. There was a good representation of men assisting the event, but it irked me that the organizers chose more men to lead groups when there were enough women to lead the groups. I’d love if these girls know which fields are underrepresented, but know that they’re part of closing the gap … and not intimidated by not seeing anyone like them on the road to their goals.
BRAG TIME. This was my team:
— Mjumbe Poe (@mjumbewu) January 5, 2013
They’re phenomenal. We talked about how applications get built, and they made their prototype using Proto.io (tiny.cc/callingallgirls). I hope they had a lot of fun and learned something in the process.