Girls join the workforce Thursday |

Girls join the workforce Thursday

Cory Fisher

Girls around the country – as many as 16 million – are expected to skip school Thursday to take part in the sixth annual Take Our Daughters to Work Day.

Not since World War II has the American workplace been staffed by an equal number of women and men, but forecasters predict this is about to change. By the year 2000, it is estimated that two out of every three new jobs will be filled by women. Take Our Daughters to Work Day offers employers a chance to meet the talent pool early.

Developed and introduced by the Ms. Foundation for Women, this year’s program is being promoted on the South Shore by Soroptimist International and the American Association of University Women.

The day originated in response to Harvard University research revealing that once girls reach puberty, they begin to show a significant drop in self-esteem and sense of self-worth, as well as an increase in self-doubt when it comes to their own judgment and emotions.

“It’s so important to help our young women regain the voice they lost or felt compelled to hide during their adolescence,” said Kathleen Farrell, Soroptimist member. “We anticipate a fulfilling day.”

The effects of a negative self-image are profound and far-reaching, the study noted, as they also relate to a decline in academic performance.

This amounts to a disturbing trend in adolescent girls – the strong, optimistic sense of self so evident in girls at age 10 or 11 has suddenly disappeared from view.

“But when girls between the ages of 9 and 15 develop mentoring relationships, receive encouragement and gain early exposure to the work world,” stated the Ms. Foundation, “they are more likely to maintain their confidence and resilience into young womanhood and beyond.”

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