Rachel speaks at White House Conference on Gender Stereotypes In Media & Toys
We know that children’s interests, ambitions and skills can be shaped early on by the media they consume and the toys they play with – and this doesn’t just affect their development, it affects the strength of our economy for decades to come.
Rachel was invited to speak at a White House conference on April 6. The event, “Helping our Children Explore, Learn, and Dream without Limits: Breaking Down Gender Stereotypes in Media and Toys,” included representatives from toy, media, and retail companies; leaders of youth-serving organizations; researchers and scholars; and educators. The attendees came together for a lively day of panels and presentations on breaking down gender stereotypes in children’s media and toys. Renowned experts, innovators, and thought-leaders presented current research, exciting case studies, and impactful new ideas to help all our children explore, learn, and dream without limits.
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) industries offer some of the highest-paying, most in-demand careers – there are over 600,000 unfilled job in information technology alone – yet, women hold only 28 percent of STEM jobs. And right now, communities across America are experiencing teacher shortages, and nursing is one of the fastest-growing professions – yet fewer than 25 percent of public school teachers and only 9 percent of nurses are men.
The conference explored how we can ensure that children’s media and toys expose kids to diverse role models and teach them a variety of skills so they can fulfill their potential and pursue their passions – and how we as a nation can meet the needs of our workforce in the coming years.