What It's Really Like: They Didn't Want Girls Like Me
A couple weeks ago, About.Me asked me to write an article for their "What It's Really Like" series. I was super excited to get this notification because it was my chance to get my word out there. This issue is so important to me. I really want to be able to help all the young women who went through or are going through the same struggles I did.
Women have infinite skills and abilities to offer. I think it's about time for companies to notice that and start investing in our young women. It's time to foster the leaders within them.
Here is the link to the article:
This is the original version of the article without About.Me's edits and word limit.
WHAT IT’S REALLY LIKE: When the world doesn’t want to see you to succeed.
They didn’t encourage girls like me. They wanted programmers, coders, and designers. They didn’t make us feel important or needed. We don’t get chances to be mentored, inspired, and guided to a successful career. We needed to do things on our own or share it with the boys. They didn’t want young women entrepreneurs and leaders.
I’ve always known I wanted to be an entrepreneur. I wanted to be
. I wanted to create and innovate. I wanted to explore every industry possible. I was never made to be a follower. As I entered my freshman year of college, I jump-started my career. I got an executive board position in my club and an internship spring semester. Leaving freshman year with one internship under my belt and two more lined up for me, I was feeling pretty accomplished. But I still felt like something was missing. I felt like there was more that could’ve been done.
I searched endlessly for programs and opportunities that helped young women, exclusively, become entrepreneurs. Everything I found were for girls interested in STEM. The leadership and business summits and programs that I did find were offered both to boys and girls, unlike certain STEM programs that were developed specifically to advance girls in that field. I searched every day and I couldn’t find any mentorship program that catered to girls like me.
I was starting to feel hopeless and a little bit jealous. It’s hard to see all these awesome opportunities open up for girls my age because they got to participate in a program that fostered their interests and abilities. I started to question if entrepreneurs were actually
important. Do people really not want to see women leading businesses and making a change in the world? I had to assume it as true. All these programs and none of them helped young women become entrepreneurs.
There are so many young women trying to become executive leaders and entrepreneurs, but society doesn’t support it. Women with strong leadership qualities are ridiculed and overlooked. Women get less pay and, even worse, less recognition. All of our positive leadership traits get turned into negative ones.
There was nothing out there to reassure young women that they can be powerful, assertive, strong and confident. There was nothing out there that taught young women to embrace their leadership skills and go forward with their interest and abilities. There was nothing out there that showed young women the in’s and out’s of entrepreneurship and guided them on their journey.
It was so hard for me to accept the fact that I had the short end of the stick. Because of my career choice, I got less opportunities and experiences that would facilitate my growth and improvement. It also didn’t make any sense to me because I knew entrepreneurs are important. They make the future. I also know women are brilliant. We are better leaders than men. So why aren’t young women entrepreneurs given the chance to foster the leaders within them?
I decided to take initiative – exactly what a good entrepreneur would do. I contacted the CEO of my internship and told her about this very big problem I observed. I pitched her my solution to fix this problem. Since my story resonated with her, she decided that my idea for a mentorship program designed for young women interested in entrepreneurship and executive leadership was excellent. With her help, I am creating a program for girls just like me.
Soon, there will be no more girls searching endlessly only to find that there are no programs that wants them to succeed in what they like to do. Girls don’t have to feel hopeless, jealous, or insignificant because they don’t get amazing opportunities even though they are equally as important. Young women entrepreneurs deserve those opportunities and experiences. Young women entrepreneurs should be supports, encouraged, and guided to success. Young women entrepreneurs are important and they should have a program that lets them know that.
Take your frustrations and short-comings and make them into something innovate and visionary. Create something that can help others who go through what you go through. Make a change. Don’t let the world stop you. Become an entrepreneur. Because entrepreneurs will stop at nothing."
Note To Self: Keep killing it!