Are Parent Attitudes Keeping Girls from Science Success? (page 2)

Are Parent Attitudes Keeping Girls from Science Success?

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Updated on Dec 22, 2010

Campbell-Kibler Associates began in 1979 and was named after Campbell’s daughter, who sued the state of Georgia (and won!) at the age of 4 months when the state would not allow her to have a hyphenated last name. (At the time, Georgia required that babies simply take the last name of the father, if the parents were married.) Today, Campbell’s company works collaboratively with universities and school districts to research trends of students in STEM fields, and study why more male students than female students enters these fields, for example.

“The numbers are improving,” Campbell says. “There are more female students in these fields in higher ed these days, and there are more young girls who express interest in pursuing these careers.” Campbell says she has found over the years that parent encouragement is key. Children are most likely to be influenced by their parents, and encouragement or discouragement can have significant results.

Unfortunately, findings from the ASQ survey indicate that only 20 percent of parents have encouraged or will encourage their children to consider an engineering career, despite the fact that 97 percent of parents believe knowledge of math and science will help their children in their careers.

Want to encourage your daughter (or son) to pursue a career in STEM? Here are a few pointers from Campbell:

  • Emphasize that math and science are important.
  • Make math and science a part of your family’s everyday life.
  • Help reduce stereotypes with your words actions.
  • Make sure your daughter knows that things are improving for women in STEM careers.
  • Be aware of what you see on television and read in the papers. Understand that “news” can influence how you view your daughter and her future.
  • Be aware that there is a lot of incomplete, inaccurate, and incorrect information around about girls and math and science.
  • Take action in your daughter’s classroom when necessary.

Small but significant steps will build a solid future for the nation's daughters, so get started talking about math and science today!

For more information about ASQ and the recent survey, visit

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