Physicist and astronaut Sally Ride once said: “Young girls need to see role models in whatever careers they may choose, just so they can picture themselves doing those jobs someday. You can’t be what you can’t see.” This is precisely our philosophy here at SheHeroes. Our goal is to inspire and empower girls, ages 8-14, to pursue non-traditional careers. Our all-female team produces web videos profiling women who are powerful leaders in their respective fields. These educational videos give girls a wealth of role models across diverse industries and backgrounds, proving that they too can become whatever they dream. Now we are excited to announce that we have launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds to capture the stories of six accomplished women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).
In the media and entertainment industries today girls are subjected to unhealthy, hyper-sexualized and stereotypical “role models.” According to the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, in most G-rated films female characters are shown pursuing a romance. Further, media and toy marketing campaigns strongly influence girls’ career goals by reinforcing gender stereotypes that severely limit their choices as women. Career development begins in childhood, but children often limit their career goals to careers stratified by gender.
In 2008, an Associated Press review of accredited forensic science programs in the United States found that about 75 percent of graduates were women, an increase of about 64 percent from 2000. Among other factors, academics call this the “CSI effect,” noting that popular prime-time TV shows like CSI, Bones and NCIS that prominently feature women in forensic science have greatly influenced the growing number of women entering these fields.
A study conducted by researchers, Julie L. Quimby and Angela M. DeSantis in 2006 noted that, “exposure to role models via videos increases students’ likelihood of considering non-traditional careers.” So far we have produced 12 videos and have directly reached nearly 50,000 girls online. We have profiled the likes of Polly Baca, the first Latina to hold a State House and State Senate seat, and Emmy Award winning Carol Jenkins, one of the nations’ first African-American journalists and TV anchors.
In an initial test study conducted by SheHeroes, 80 third graders noted that they felt being a CEO was a man’s job. But after watching just one SheHeroes’ video, a clear majority of students felt all careers were for both men and women. By presenting profiles of successful and inspirational women, SheHeroes not only alters the way girls view themselves and their potential, but also the way boys view girls and women.
This week, SheHeroes will launch an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds to create 6 videos of women who excel in #STEM careers. The videos, all produced in-house, are a vital and accessible online resources for students, parents and educators. Most importantly, SheHeroes’ online content provides young girls with diverse role models, showing them that they can excel in any career of their choice.
Please help support our campaign by sharing via Social Media, your blog and of course by donating.