If she can see it, then she can be it.
Growing up in a conservative country, I was raised with a belief that women were meant to take on the role of support. My mom always feels pity that I work hard. Her prayer is that one day I’ll find a husband who will work hard for me.
So when I moved to Berlin in 2016, I didn’t come with the intention to build my own company. No no no, it was never on my radar.
This whole mindset changed once I got exposed to Berlin’s startup scene. I saw female founders on stage sharing their experiences. I witnessed women of different age groups telling the stories on how they started their business endeavours. This was the moment where I caught myself thinking, “Hey, maybe I can also build something of my own”.
Because imagining that she can be, it is only the beginning. Actually seeing that she can, it makes all the difference.
Research suggests the exposure to women’s stories can be influential. By introducing girls to stories of women from all walks of life, they can see more opportunities for themselves.
For instance, one report which analysed the role of female politicians noted that “over time, the more that women politicians are made visible by national news coverage, the more likely adolescent girls are to indicate an intention to be politically active.” In addition, “where female candidates are visible due to viable campaigns for high-profile offices, girls report increased anticipated political involvement”
Marie Curie is the only female scientist in the famous picture from the Solvay Conference in 1927. I wonder, how many girls decided to pursue a career in science because they were inspired by her story?