Like A Girl

Pushing the conversation on gender equality.

Code Like A Girl

This Father’s Day: Reflections for Dads of Daughters

Photo from Iridescent

I didn’t know she wanted to help me work on the car.

I didn’t know she would be interested in going to the hardware store.

I didn’t know she would like tools for her birthday.

I didn’t know she would want me to sign her up for a robotics camp.

As a dad you may never have considered that your daughter would be interested in working with tools, taking things apart, or learning about robotics. Your daughter might not have asked to do these activities. Yet when given the chance, girls do like to make things, work with their hands, and learn about cars and engines.

Research has uncovered differences in the early experiences of girls and boys. In a study by Brigid Barron, parents with boys provided more resources to support their sons’ tech interest, starting at an earlier age, and offered more guidance when the projects get complicated. Parent encouragement impacts how girls engage in science and technology, like their willingness to pursue computer science. Encouragement can take many forms like teaching girls how to use a sewing machine or power tools, embracing a growth mindset in a home repair or cooking project, or driving to an after-school program. You can spark new interests and dreams with toys and play that don’t need to cost a lot of money. Taking apart old appliances, playing with cardboard boxes, and building with recycled materials are free.

I hope this blog helps you rewrite the script you play with your daughter. Here are some new lines to try out this summer.

Let’s take apart this broken weed wacker (or hairdryer) and see how it works.

I got you a tool set so you and I can work on our bikes.

Let’s check out this robotics camp or AI Family Challenge.

I got you a book about girls who code.

I hope your Father’s Day is a special one! As you reimagine what’s possible for your daughter, I encourage you to support the other girls in your community, across the country, and around the world. Consider supporting these organizations that are investing in the future of girls.

Iridescent brings cutting-edge STEM programs — like Technovation and Curiosity Machine’s AI Family Challenge — to underserved girls, children, and their families.

Girl Scouts empowers girls with leadership experiences and lots of new STEM badges to design robots, make race cars, and learn about cybersecurity.

Girlstart is scaling its summer and afterschool STEM programs and you can help them reach more girls with their award-winning curriculum.

Black Girls Code teaches coding and so much more, empowering girls to become leaders in their communities and builders of their own futures.

Techbridge Girls has the secret sauce for inspiring girls in STEM — role models who excite, educate, and equip girls for brighter futures.

Girls Who Code is creating a movement to reach more girls in more places and give them the chance to forge lifelong bonds to help them persist in computer science.