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Op-Ed: How Can We Empower Her As A Part Of The Next Generation?

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Apr. 25 2018, Published 8:05 a.m. ET

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At The Coding Space, an after-school and summer coding program for kids, our mission is to empower kids to tackle challenges independently through learning how to code.

Our mission for GirlCode, our all-girls coding program, is to create a world where girls and women have the tools, confidence, and community to shatter the glass ceiling.

We teach her that coding, like life, is hard and intimidating, but that she is capable and full of potential, and there is no problem too difficult for her to conquer. Our hope is that this lesson of developing grit, confidence & a growth mindset transfers to all areas of her life.

We’re sharing some ways we try to empower the girls in our program and hope that this generation of powerful females, readers like yourselves, can join us to empower the next generation. Here’s how you can help:

Teach her.

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The amount of information girls and kids in general receive in today’s world is greater than ever before. Teach her to question things and trust her gut; to stand for what she believes in. Teach her to step outside of her comfort zone and the importance of learning. Teach her that not all problems have easy solutions; some require hard work, a lot of it, but let her know that there isn’t a problem too challenging to solve and that she has a network of support around her to help her when she needs it.

Believe in her.

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When she has an idea so ambitious, so incredibly creative and beyond anything you can fathom, believe in her. Women have a long history of being told, “it’s a man’s job,” or simply that a woman won’t be able to do it. Let her know that she can do it, even when everyone else is rooting for her failure. And if she does fail, remind her that she can get back up and try again – it’s only life!

Challenge her.

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Once she understands that at the end of the day, you’ll al

ways have her back, we need to challenge her. Challenge her to seek out ideas and perspectives different from her own, but to stay unwavering in the beliefs with which she’s not willing to compromise. Ask questions that make her brain hurt so she learns to appreciate hard work, independence, and the ability to solve problems on her own.

And finally, let her figure it out.

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There is more pressure on kids today than there ever has been before. Pressure to get good grades in order to get into good schools in order to get a good job in order to make good money…and so on. It elicits an impulse to want to hold her hand through it all, to make sure she’s hitting all of the marks. It comes from a good place but doesn’t set her up for success in the long run. Let her fail, just so she knows the satisfaction of what it’s like to get back up again and succeed the second, or third (or fourth, or fifth) time around.

She’s got this.

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