If you haven’t heard already, today is the nationally recognized and Senate-endorsed “Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day.” The program began as a response to a study that revealed that by 8th grade many girls suffered from low self-esteem and were choosing to drop out of school. It was originally called “Take Our Daughters to Work Day,” but was amended in 2003 to include boys who may also have a lack of self-confidence.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the program and I hope it continues. My 3-year-old daughter is a bit young for the laboratory setting in which I currently work, but when she gets a little older it is a day I plan to participate in with her. Since I work in the field of math and science, an area that is currently male-dominated, it’s an opportunity to prove to her that, despite societal norms, her gender is not career-limiting.
I love the idea of giving my daughter an insider’s view of what it’s really like to work in an office. My own experience in a professional business setting was limited to years of watching scenes from television sitcoms and movies, a depiction that gave me about as much insight into working in a business environment as watching Saved By the Bell gave me into the lives of high school students. That is to say, none at all. There is no substitute for a real world experience.
The day is as much about helping our children recognize their potential as it is instilling in them the importance of choosing their careers wisely, a choice I might have made differently had I participated in the program in my youth.
Will you be taking your son or daughter to work today?
Photo credit: iStock