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Anne Brink
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Well, yeah.

Quote near the end: "More girls might pursue math and science if they felt like they could identify with the people in them. Geeky computer scientists are uninspiring for women who feel dissimilar to them."

Soooo..... encourage reflecting more the really awesome women that we're trying to encourage the girls to model themselves after, instead of telling them that to be a scientist, they need to model themselves after something those women aren't?    How likely are we to retain anyone who comes to the field under false pretenses, when they discover that no, scientists aren't all pink and frilly.....

"Eighth-grade girls changed their negative opinions of scientists after getting to know female mentors who had impressive credentials as well as real lives away from the lab.  Rather than broadcasting videos of women who look relatable to young girls, we should highlight women who are relatable to girls."
(emphasis the author's)

BING BING BING BING! Give the SciAm writer the prize!!
Study finds images of "girly" scientists wearing make-up and pastels don't actually make girls want to go into science. You listening, Barbie? Article:

"The feminine STEM role models actually made girls feel the least interested in math, and the least confident […] In our follow-up study, math-disinterested girls saw the feminine STEM role models’ success as furthest out of reach. Perhaps contrary to popular intuition, adding the 'girly' factor to otherwise everyday women succeeding in male-dominated fields made those women less motivating, not more."

Tomorrow's the 40th anniversary of Title IX.  Happy Birthday!

You can read all sorts of reports of how playing sports is good not only for girls' health and well being but in preparing them for the adult work force, and that's all true, but sometimes it sounds kind of theoretical and etherial.  


The year after it was passed, I played on my first girls' soccer team.  I played for many years, coached my son's teams for a few seasons, and have developed a life-long love for the game.

10th grade:  The varsity girls' softball team had a backstop and two wooden benches on the corner of an Elementary School playground.  There was one umpire behind home plate.   Nobody came to watch the team play.

Now, the softball team at my son's HS has a field with fences, manicured infield, electronic scoreboard, real fenced in dugouts, announcer's box up over home plate (sitting also above an equipment room.)  Just about the same as the guys have.   And much better coaching.  Far more sophisticated strategy in the game.  A full team of umpires.  Proud dads in the stands.  College scouts.    SCOUTS!   Dang.

I have watched countless girls' HS sporting events where boys (often who play the matching sport) show up, cheer, boo the ref for the same reasons they'd boo the ref at the boys' game, talk knowledgeably about the game- I've listened to members of the boys' lacrosse team speak respectfully of how hard the running game is in the girl's version of the sport- could they do that?WOW.  (And I will tell you- if the girls sucked, doesn't matter how much the guys like the girls, they wouldn't bother to go in the numbers they do. Girls were just as cute in my HS days.  Boys did not flock to the games.)

That's all Title IX, baby, and it totally rocks.

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NoVa Local: They're going to renumber 7100/7900/PW Parkway, to celebrate their promotion to "primary roads." (what, they weren't already? Coulda fooled ME......)

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2 quotes from an interview in the report w/ Neustar executive Mark Bregman:

"One of the things that's a barrier to our ability to grow is our ability to hire the
best talent," he says. "If we could get more women to go into Computer
Science, we would have more talent to hire from."

Bregman cites empirical and anecdotal evidence that teams with men and
women are often more productive and build products that are more interesting

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