Editor’s Note: This blog was written by Vision 2020 Director of National Programs and Relationships Catherine Ormerod.
Celebrating its 20th year, Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day is Thursday, April 25. In case you were wondering, you can buy official merchandise (string back pack, squishy pen, tee shirt) to recognize this day. Originally, Take Your Daughters to Work Day was an effort targeted to girls ages 10-14 when their bodies are changing and attention to girls’ physical beauty becomes the obsession of society and individuals. The idea was and is to introduce girls to jobs and careers where intelligence and creativity matter. The work world quickly morphed the day into organized activities for both boys and girls directed by the corporate HR department. There’s nothing wrong with these activities or with including boys. But in our national reflex for political correctness, we have erased the significance of one day – just one day – dedicated to showing girls in middle school that there’s a bigger world beyond the lunch table, the bus stop, the ‘tween magazines and even the classroom. And it is a world that needs their attention.
Yes, it is a stretch to say one day will make a difference in a girl’s life and will ultimately accrue to Vision 2020’s goal of increasing the number of women in senior leadership positions. But it can be a meaningful start. That’s why I propose we embrace the initial concept of showing a girl how business works. If possible, invite your daughter, niece, or neighbor’s child to spend the day with you. If weekday logistics prohibit this, consider inviting her to a business lunch on the weekend. Explain your work. Remember that everything may look unfamiliar and scary to her. So de-mystify. For example, a teenage girl was looking for a job and tried to find the employment office. But she didn’t go in because the sign on the office door said Human Resources. “What are human resources?” she wondered. If you only do one thing this month, do this: take a daughter to work.
Read more on this day with the Huffington Post.