Empowering Kids for a Bright Future
Despite significant strides in recent years, women today earn twenty-one percent less than men according to a March 8, 2017, report by Sonam Sheth and Skye Gould on BusinessInsider. Women also continue to be underrepresented in the boardroom, top executive positions, and the fast-growing fields of technology according to many sources.
Studies have shown part of the reason this inequality persists is that when girls reach early adolescence their self-esteem drops significantly. During this stage, girls become more focused on their appearance and how boys will perceive them. This often inhibits them from competing with or in front of boys. As a result, girls fail to develop the know-how and the confidence necessary for competing later in the job market.
Another reason women are underrepresented and earn less is that in spite of changes in recent generations, girls are still subject to stereotypes concerning marriage, raising children, and certain occupations. Such stereotypes steer girls, often unintentionally, into traditional paths and roles regardless of their interests and abilities.
For these reasons, Take Our Daughters to Work Day was created in 1993 by the Ms. Foundation. The purpose was to help girls realize the importance of their abilities and to reach their full potential.
In 2003, the observation was officially changed to Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day, to be inclusive of all kids. Now, kids have the opportunity to experience the workforce one day each year, helping them to envision what tomorrow has to offer.
On April 26, 2018, be a part of this nationwide event and empower your daughters and sons for a bright and fulfilling future.
A day at work with your kids
On Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day, get your child off to a good start by having your child dress accordingly and arriving on time. Avoid having your child just observe, and have some work and tasks set aside to keep your child busy throughout the day. Also, try some of the following:
• Have your kid keep a journal throughout the day, describing different aspects of the occupation your child likes and dislikes and why.
• Ask your daughter or son to compose questions about the occupation and interview coworkers. Questions might include the pros and cons of the job, why coworkers chose the occupation, and what their day entails. If your child is shy or opposed to the idea, don’t force it. You want your child to leave with positive feelings about the day.
• Describe to your child hypothetical problems or situations that might arise in your job, and ask your child for ideas and solutions.
• Help your child write a letter and an occupational questionnaire. Then have your child prepare them for mailing to businesses and professionals in occupations of interest. Be sure to include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a response, and take them to the post office at the end of the day.
• Give your son or daughter a camera, a Polaroid if possible, to take photos throughout the day. Then have your child compile a Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day scrapbook. Your child can include descriptions of each photo and what your child learned or discovered.
• Visit yourfreecareertest.com where kids can do a free online survey to discover what careers fit your child’s personality and interests. Then your child can go to kids.usa.gov/teens/jobs/ for career information designed just for young teens.
• Help your child create a career folder and design forms to track school classes, grades, career interests and experiences, honors and awards, and other relevant information for preparing for a secondary education or joining the workforce.
Alternatives for taking kids to work
Not all kids will have the opportunity to participate in Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day. Talk with family and friends and mention they can volunteer to take a child to work who otherwise won’t have the opportunity.
If you’re unable to take your child to work, volunteer to assist a teacher, help with a political campaign, or other community service project in which your child can still have the experience.
Give your child alternative opportunities if your child has interest in a particular occupation. If you know someone in the field, ask if your child can go to work with them. Or ask a nearby company what it’s planning for the day and how your child can participate.
Other ways parents can participate and promote the day
Taking kids to work isn’t the only way parents can participate. By doing the following, parents can make the most of the day for all kids and show their kids the significance of the day and the importance of their future.
Promote Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day by writing a letter to the editor to create awareness.
Form a committee in your community or at work to promote the day, and plan events to make it a success.
Create fliers to remind parents of the upcoming day, and post them on community bulletin boards in libraries, grocery stores, and banks. Also, ask companies to post them in their break rooms or on employee bulletin boards.
Ask your employer to support the event, and discuss ways the company can help make the day a success. Assist in planning special activities for girls throughout the day such as speakers, group discussions, or a luncheon.
Organize a speaking engagement in your community to share with parents the importance of the day, ways they can participate, and what they can do when they take their kids to work.
By Kimberly Blaker, is a lifestyle and parenting freelance writer. • www.theyounggma.com