As a woman in computer science, I’m often asked about the challenges I’ve faced in becoming part of a male-dominated field. I have to be honest and say, I haven’t faced a lot of challenges solely as a result of my gender. I think people are disappointed by this response. They want to hear inspirational anecdotes about how I overcame adversity. They want me to be some kind of pioneer. But I’m not.
The fact that I’ve had it so easy often leads me to forget that not all women have. While I was growing up in a household that embraced my intellectual pursuits, other girls were being encouraged to plan for careers that were “more suited for women”, or even to get married and have children immediately out of highschool. Some also report being teased by peers for their stereotypically-male interests and turning away from their passions as a result. Even worse, there are women who have pursued their dreams only to find that they’re not treated as intellectual, financial, or social equals in the work place.
That girls are being dissuaded from following their true career aspirations is, frankly, heartbreaking. So, anything that shows girls that they can be whatever they want and that encourages them to pursue their passions is mighty fine in my books. If it also happens to be really cute and funny, all the better.
Smart Girls at the Party is the joint project of real-life friends Amy Poehler, Meredith Walker and Amy Miles. Each episode centres around a young girl with a special passion in life. Amy P. performs an interview, Amy M. provides music, and Meredith produces the segments. All three ladies spend time interacting with and learning from the girls. And in the end, everyone gets to have a dance party!