If you’re stumped and can’t figure out what to watch on TV (which doesn’t happen a lot at Darden during your first year since there’s not a ton of free time;) I would absolutely recommend checking out a Ted Talk or two. When I saw Pranav Mistry’s first talk on sixth sense technology a few years ago, I was hooked and surprisingly not “blown away” when Google launched the Google Glass idea. Don’t even get me started on the fascinating topics that VS Ramachandran, a neuroscientist, brings to the “Ted Table.”
With such high esteem for the Ted conferences, I was excited to learn that one of our professors, Yael Grushka-Cockayne, invited three students to join her at the 2012 TEDxWomen event in Washington D.C. Together they’ll learn and listen to role models from different parts of society.
One area up for discussion is the gender divide in both the world of business and science and how to address the gap.
I, wholeheartedly, believe that in order to inspire more women business leaders, we must focus our efforts on influencing girls on a foundational level by showcasing strong mentors and, most importantly, helping them to develop strategic thinking skills that lend towards engineering and mathematics. This must involve more than packaging erector sets in pink or providing plans to a Barbie Dream House. We as a society must embrace the differences between how boys and girls learn in developmental stages. Toy companies like Mattel and Pleasant Company have the ability to develop accessory toys oriented around stories and problem solving. Leapfrog and start-ups can create story based apps and activities to appeal to girls while encouraging them to solve math, science and spatial problems.