The Clean Cut: Are we holding our daughters back?

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  • LovelyDeseret Gilbert, AZ
    July 7, 2014 10:23 p.m.

    My experience is that women shy away from engineering because it isn't a personable discipline. You don't get a better grade by finding out what the Professor wants -- like the subjective disciplines--. You get a good grade by getting the right answer. If you want more women in Engineering, change the other disciplines, stop making them so women friendly. Stop having Professors who make those disciplines so women friendly. When that happens, there will be a lot more women Engineers.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    July 7, 2014 5:52 p.m.

    cjb.... kids follow the roles modeled by those around them. Are you seriously saying there is a doll gene and a car gene and that these things are redetermined by God or DNA? Yes, the different sexes in GENERAL do have some predispositions. But the realm of possible as taught and modeled by their parents shape kids expectations of what they can do with their lives shapes their futures far more. There are plenty of "tom-boy girls" and men who excel in traditionally female roles (nursing, teaching... etc) that we know there is no standardized X/Y gene bias towards dolls.

  • vidottsen Payson, UT
    July 6, 2014 11:15 a.m.

    If a woman intends to have a family, she needs to weigh her talents against the difficulties and challenges of any field she selects. However, she should not pull back from the great rewards of engaging in the work she loves, especially in view of so many opportunities that are opening up to her working from home. Many companies are making that a possibility thanks to the internet. As a father and grandfather of girls, that's a trend I fully support.

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    July 5, 2014 1:10 p.m.

    Excellent ad, Verizon.

    Thirty years ago I ran a government subsidized on-the-job carpenter training program. The goal of the program was to get people off of welfare--but 90% of the people sent to me were men who were only marginally employable because of limited intelligence, personality issues, and/or substance abuse problems. The people who assigned workers never even told the women that I was willing--no, eager--to train females; instead, they were shunted into beautician, bank teller, or lab tech training.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    July 4, 2014 3:01 p.m.

    TeacherMom6 is right on. Schools are now totally female-centric. The way schools are structured to the fact that males might be totally non-existent, except maybe as the custodian in our elementary schools, is making it more difficult than males. I understand things used to be geared for boys, boys, boys maybe 50 or 100 years ago but our boys (not all of course) are suffering in our school system and the loss of recess, standardized testing, policies against certain types of play, cutting of programs such as physical education and a dearth of male role models, especially in their formative years, are contributing and concerning factors.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    July 3, 2014 6:33 p.m.

    Re Schnee

    Most parents I know would indeed be uncomfortable if one of their boys played with girl things. Most problbly wouldn't care if their girls played with guy things. Most Tom boys grow out of it.

    Any parent I know that cares about education, pushes mathematics and relayed subjects equally on all their children regardless of sex. I've seen parents who pretty much ignore their kids education, but those parents who do get involved in their kids education all recognise math is an important subject and they don't discriminate. They encourage ALL their kids to excel.

    My observation is that most boys are not interested in mathematics and even fewer girls are interested in mathematics. The relatively few people who are interested in mathematics and related subjects are mostly male. These are commonly called geeks. They grow up to become our engineers and scientists in the 'hard' sciences.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    July 3, 2014 4:53 p.m.

    "Male and female minds have differences. Little girls like to play with dolls. Boys like to play with model trucks and cars."

    Here's the problem. What is done with a little girl who likes to play with model trucks and cars or a little boy that likes to play with dolls? Is that discouraged? Depends on household I imagine, how rigidly they want to stick to "gender norms". This stretches on to those who think a woman working outside the house is harming her kids but don't think that about a man doing the same.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    July 3, 2014 4:34 p.m.

    Re Mr. Jarvis

    By dolls I didn't mean masculine action figures.

    I am a parent and I know girls can at times pick up a toy car or truck, but I also know they spent precious little time playing with them, if at all.

    Do you really disagree with my post or are you just picking around the edges at my words?

    Are you a parent? Of both sexes?

  • Steven S Jarvis Orem, UT
    July 3, 2014 2:13 p.m.


    Boys also play with dolls. GI Joe and Transformers are essentially just dolls catering to boys. Girls play with cars and trucks. It all comes down to the individual child and what is given to them.

    Right now I can give my daughter anything and it will keep her entertained for at least two minutes. She tends to play with trucks more than dolls because she can manipulate the wheels.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    July 3, 2014 11:25 a.m.

    On the other hand if a girl does show interest in math or the sciences or when boys do, its great that in our society both have the opportunity to pursue their interests. Neither though should be pressured to go into a field that isn't their interest. People excell and are happy when they do what they are interested in, assuming they have an interest.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    July 3, 2014 11:04 a.m.

    Male and female minds have differences. Little girls like to play with dolls. Boys like to play with model trucks and cars. As both get older their tastes continue to be different. This isn't surprising nor is it bad.

  • Mom of Six Northern Utah, UT
    July 3, 2014 10:26 a.m.

    Please...really if you are doing that to your child regardless of gender this is about poor parenting not girl vs. boy. Do you want to know the reason behind less numbers of engineering students that are female vs. male. It has nothing to do with gender and everything to do with interest. Women are very different from men. Most women that I know are not interested in crunching numbers and looking at plans....I am married to an engineer I have seen his work in action. I have daughters and if they wanted to follow the path of their father, I would say "you go girl!" It is really ok though for men and women to be different and follow different career paths. I think you have to go with what interests a person. Our school systems do not cater to boys anymore. This is where we are failing.

  • teachermom6 Northern Utah, UT
    July 3, 2014 10:20 a.m.

    As a teacher, I think that the school system itself is structured around girls. Our boys generally don't catch a break, and we are failing them in large numbers. One only has to look at college enrollment by gender. We need to focus on learning for everyone no matter what their gender maybe. We need to encourage kids to follow their dreams regardless of whether it is teaching or nursing, (traditionally female professions) or engineering and math. (traditionally male professions)Until we as a culture quit focusing in on gender or socioeconomic factors we will go nowhere. Children as a whole these days are not interested in math and science professions as they were in earlier generations...why? Because these are harder professions to attain and kids do not know how to work, they want everything given to them on a silver platter. As a society, we need to focus our efforts on teaching kids the old fashioned American values of work equals better life no matter what profession that may be.

  • Laurels Sandy, UT
    July 3, 2014 9:02 a.m.

    Many studies show that girls are given subtle messages by society steer them away from STEM fields.

    Thankfully there are people like Dr. Hugo Rossi at the University of Utah. He, along with others, helped implement the ACCESS program for girls...a program designed to give girls who might be interested in STEM careers valuable research experience, exposure to STEM research labs, and a chance to network with professors and students who work in STEM areas.

    Both of my daughters took part in the U's ACCESS program. One went on to become a Chemical Engineer who now holds two patents and does computer modeling for Nuclear Reactor facilities across the world. Another daughter is now a charge nurse in a local hospital's surgical unit with plans to apply to DNP programs. The exposure to STEM careers they gained in the U's ACCESS program was a major factor in their discovery of their interest and aptitude for a STEM career. Indeed, they discovered that a STEM career was NOT contrary to their nature, but was something they could excel in.

  • J.S Bountiful, UT
    July 3, 2014 8:51 a.m.

    The main point here is not to push girls into the science field against their will, but to help parents understand that they should always help girls - and boys - explore all their options and leave the decision up to them.

    The same way, we should not force our own opinion on girls and make them think there's no happiness for them in the workplace. Women should never be judged if they decide to work. Work is good for both men and women.

  • happymomto9 Saratoga Springs, UT
    July 3, 2014 8:49 a.m.

    i became a mechanical engineer in large part due to the "encouragement" of my dad. he saw my capacity for logic and math and regularly challenged me to solve complex problems. i loved the attention and the challenge.

    i got my bsme from notre dame and my msme from stanford. then i worked for nasa for 10 years.

    i am now a stay at home mom (for the entire 19 years of our marriage) and expecting baby #10.

    i loved engineering/math/science. but i love being a mom more! my native abilities made me a good engineer, but i'd like to think that my true gifts lie in being a mother and wife.

    ps. because of my stem background i am not afraid to homeschool my children through high school and have some awesome technical discussions with my equally nerdy husband! :> don't think my education was wasted in the least!

  • SRGriff Salem, UT
    July 3, 2014 8:05 a.m.

    All these well-intended programs may have an unintended consequence. I worked for a company in Arizona as an engineer alongside a female engineer coworker who had been encouraged (pressured) by ads such as these to pursue a degree and career in electrical engineering. About two years into her career she realized the path she had chosen was contrary to her nature and decided to go back to school to pursue a degree and career in counseling; a subject she recognized was her true love. What a waste of precious time for her. Let’s not encourage girls to pursue fields that may disagree with their true natures just because the rest of society feels there aren’t enough females in the sciences. Let’s raise our daughters to feel empowered to choose whatever subject interests them without them feeling guilty that they’re not pursuing an engineering or science degree.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    July 3, 2014 6:03 a.m.

    In addition to the companies mentioned in the article, Google has been highlighting women's accomplishments in history, and the Cosmos series makes a point of noting the significant contributions that women made to science despite the limitations placed on them. Kudos to all of these efforts to send our youth a different message. It is thrilling to see females being celebrated rather than relegated.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    July 2, 2014 9:41 p.m.

    First of all I would not look to Verizon as a luminary about gender relationships.

    Secondly, although I feel that our own experiences are always more or less limited, many men would feel
    that women collectively or individually are NOT "always apologizing". although some people may be. I have heard more often "why does my wife never apologize?" or "why is it always me who has to apologize, no matter who was at fault?"

    In short I think this is a false depiction of life and even a reversal of the truth for many.