by Kimberly Blaker
Freelance Family Writer
Neapolitan Family, April 2015
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Top Take Our Daughters to Work Day Ideas: Empowering Girls for a Bright Future
Despite significant strides in recent years, women today earn twenty-five percent less than men. Women continue to be underrepresented in the boardroom, top executive positions, and the fast growing fields of technology reveals Ms. Foundation for Women.
Studies have found that part of the reason this inequality persists is that when girls reach early adolescence their self-esteem drops significantly. During this stage, they become more focused on their appearance and how boys will perceive them, which often reduces their willingness to compete with or in front of boys. Therefore, 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, to help girls realize the importance of their abilities and to reach their full potential. Now, girls have the opportunity to experience the work force one day each year, helping them to envision what tomorrow has to offer.
On April 23, 2015, be a part of this nationwide event and empower your daughter for a bright and fulfilling future.
Take Our Daughters to Work Day ideas
On Take Our Daughters to Work Day, get your daughter off to a good start by having her dress accordingly and arriving on time. Avoid observation alone, and have some work and tasks set aside to keep her busy throughout the day.
Also, try some of the following:
Have your daughter keep a journal throughout the day, describing different aspects of the occupation that she likes and dislikes and why.
Ask her to compose questions about the occupation and interview co-workers. Questions might include the pros and cons of the job, why coworkers chose the occupation, and what their day entails. However, if your daughter is shy or opposed to the idea, don’t force it. You want her to leave with positive feelings about the day.
Describe hypothetical problems or situations that might arise in your job, and ask your daughter for ideas and solutions.
Help her write a letter and an occupational questionnaire. Then have her 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 daughter a camera, a Polaroid if possible, to take photos throughout the day. Then have her compile a Take Our Daughters to Work Day scrapbook. She can include descriptions of each photo and what she learned or discovered.
Visit yourfreecareertest.com where your daughter can do a free online survey for school aged kids to discover what careers fit her personality and interests. Then she can go to kids.usa.gov/teens/jobs/ for career information designed just for young teens.
Help her create a career folder and design forms to track her school classes, grades, career interests and experiences, honors and awards, and other relevant information for preparing for a secondary education and/or joining the work force.
Alternatives for taking daughters to work
Not all girls will have the opportunity to participate in Take Our Daughters to Work Day. Talk with family and friends and share how they can volunteer to take a girl to work that otherwise won’t have the opportunity.
If you’re unable to take your daughter to work, volunteer to assist a teacher, help with a political campaign, or other community service project in which your daughter can still have the experience.
Give your daughter alternative opportunities if she has an interest in a particular occupation. If you know someone in the field ask if your daughter can go to work with them, or ask a nearby company what it is planning for the day and how your daughter can participate.
Other ways parents can participate and promote the day
Taking daughters to work isn’t the only way parents can participate. By doing the following parents can make the most of the day for all girls and show daughters the significance of the day and the importance of their future.
Promote Take Our Daughters 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 observance 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 to do when they take their daughters to work.
Kimberly Blaker is a freelance writer for family and lifestyle magazines.