In today's society, while women are expected to do more - by mastering both their careers and their homes, they are often rewarded less than their male counterparts. While the gender pay gap is decreasing, it is still substantial (~8:10). In addition, there are still many careers in which gender ratios are highly skewed. In particular there are very few women in engineering and mechanics related careers. A 2010 research report looked to provide evidence to explain why this may exist.
Two of their key findings were that 1) there is a stereotype bias:
and that 2) women often are taught to have a fixed, instead of growth mindset from early on.
One particular activity that can combat both these factors at the same time is learning how to build with a toolbox. Link to purchase below.
By using tools, girls are taught that that it is normal for them to be interested in such activities. This will allow them to be more open to different opportunities in the future that may have otherwise scared them. In addition, working with tools to build things inherently teaches kids to develop a growth mindset. They can try building new things and will learn that if something doesn't work, trying it again in another way may help. Along with the overall benefits of using a toolbox for kids outlined in this blog, it gives girls specifically the confidence they need to stand shoulder to shoulder in all professions.
In fact many women recognize the benefit of this so much so that there are several camps popping up in United States for older girls to learn construction, such as Tools and Tiaras and Girls Build. The founders of these camps say "When girls learn construction skills, they gain confidence... For some girls, construction camp could even spark interest in a future lucrative, satisfying career...We want women and girls to come forward and shatter the stereotypes against them and show the world what they are truly capable of doing".
While a toolbox won't necessarily prepare them for a future in mechanics in the same way that the workshops do, it is a great first step to prepare your daughter for a world in which she will be as confident and skilled as any of her male counterparts.