Today is International Women’s Day, and it is a special one. All around the world there’s a movement working towards women’s rights, equality, and justice. As the President of Inspiring Girls in Spain, an international organization dedicated to connecting young girls to female role models, I’m especially excited and optimistic to celebrate this day.
Inspiring Girls was created four years ago in the United Kingdom by Miriam Gonzalez. She realized that there were few role models for girls and saw that they had limited vision of potential jobs. Inspiring Girls was created to bridge this gap. Inspiring Girls Spain began its activity last year to work against the stereotypes that are prevalent in our society. Often, these stereotypes make girls think that they are not suited to certain jobs. Only 15% of girls in Spain aim for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math careers (STEM). We need to inform girls about these jobs, and show them that the women who work in these fields are not outliers.
We are happy to join forces with Amadeus to show young girls the wide range of opportunities available. Amadeus is a great example because of its many female leaders. Plus its connection with the business world is impressive. Amadeus’ IT support for our internal systems and platforms will be key in implementing our initiatives around Spain. We expect a continuous flow of volunteers traveling to schools across Spain and Amadeus’ technological expertise is crucial to make this possible.
The stereotypes that limit the potential of girls begins at home. Girls, especially teenage girls, grow up in a micro-climate full of stereotypes. This fact, together with the lack of role models and the low self-esteem they have at this age, limits their options and opportunities. As such, we encourage parents to be careful with the language they use. It is very important that they help and push their daughters so that they feel empowered and that they can achieve anything they want. This is precisely the kind of work we are doing through Inspiring Girls.
We have legions of female role models at Inspiring Girls. They come from all different sectors and backgrounds and are willing to speak up and show girls the options they have in life. On days like International Women’s Day, I encourage everyone to take the opportunity to do the same. It is a simple, focused, and powerful thing that we can all do to raise expectation levels, and help young girls believe in themselves and achieve their goals.