Girls can be taught a confidence mindset, to persevere through failures and setbacks in pursuit of their goals. When their self-image is unchained, and their self-confidence unleashed by shifting their thinking from a “fixed mindset” to a “growth mindset,” girls become unstoppable change agents. By teaching girls in an entrepreneurial setting, we help them to welcome failure, to learn from their mistakes and to stand up proudly with confidence in themselves.
Often, VentureLab girls who learn entrepreneurial skills go on to emerge from their protective shells and to develop and present products to their surprised parents who’ve never seen their daughters demonstrate such remarkable confidence! The girls’ transformations are inspiring, and astonishing to anyone still inclined to underestimate a young girl.
Our motivation to teach girls an entrepreneurial mindset and can-do skills is not only about gender equity, but our nation’s future. Our global leadership depends to a great extent on the ability of our entrepreneurs to create companies and jobs out of innovations in technology. That is the genius of our economy, but also its vulnerability. We cannot become complacent. We need new, young, courageous, growth-minded entrepreneurs—men and women—to start and build the businesses of the future.
We need women who instinctively think and act like entrepreneurs in all kinds of endeavors because they have internalized a growth mindset. The growth mindset encompasses success as learning, developing and testing new ideas, solving problems creatively and collaboratively, persevering through setbacks, building grit, gaining deep knowledge, and—most especially for girls—developing confidence. It is less about filling in the correct bubbles on a standardized test, and more about developing students who could write a better test themselves.
Whatever their ultimate calling, every girl can learn to stretch, discover reservoirs of inner strength, gain confidence, and develop a growth mindset—all crucial elements in STEM learning. Girls will have more grit, become wiser with failures, meet role models, cast themselves in new roles, and imagine themselves advancing their innovative ideas.
I believe this so strongly that through VentureLab I am providing an open-source toolkit for parents and educators. Together, let’s equip our daughters with entrepreneurial skills to spark their interest in STEM—and to light the path for those who will become the leaders and entrepreneurs who will create the companies and jobs of the future.
What about you? I’d love to hear your thoughts on how to teach a growth mindset and to foster entrepreneurialism in girls. Thank you for sharing!