It's so easy to get caught up working for long-term change that sometimes we forget to stop and look at the differences we're making today. That's why I'd like to stop and take a moment to tell you about a remarkable family of strong women leaders whose involvement in various Women's Foundation programs strengthens and perfectly exemplifies our mission.
In Inside Out, 11-year-old Riley moves from Minnesota to San Francisco, giving up her home, her friends, and her ice hockey team in the process. When the moving truck gets lost, she winds up in a sleeping bag on her floor. But the tragedy isn't what happens around her, but within her; not only does Riley stop feeling joy, she also becomes numb to her sadness.
The excitement of an 8-year-old going to a sparkling, high energy, university campus is a remarkable sight. Some of the kids in attendance have never thought of college as an option, some didn't believe they'd ever have access to cutting edge technology, and some of the girls thought tech was only for the boys.
Looking for talent to drive a new engineering design from prototype to product? She is a 5th grader in Oakland. Looking for expertise on clean tech to advise your venture capital firm? She is a junior in high school in Washington, DC. You may not have imagined these individuals as the solution to your workforce needs, but we do.
On any logical level, I had no place making this move. My background was in social work; I had spent my professional life working in nonprofits. But I had a passion for creating change, a desire to see a very specific product on the market, and a vision of a better world for girls and women everywhere.
I refused to spend any more time or energy investing in someone else's ideas of girl culture or womanhood, not to mention the serious, serious doubts I had about all those sex tips. I decided I no longer wanted to be a part of supporting a culture that capitalizes on girls' self-doubts and insecurities.