The Gender Inclusivity Challenge
I set out to make sure that girls like myself at 8 years old would feel that Maker Faire was "for them" too. What started as a simple project for my local NYC Maker Faire turned into a 2 year-long adventure that showed me the root of gender stereotypes, taught me better ways to interact with youth, and helped me understand my own bias so that I could do better.
Unfortunately, I flubbed the ending, which was the best part. Here's the takeaway:
- Offer Options - Offer more than one option, especially when one could be perceived as associated with only one gender.
- Let Kids Choose - There's a big difference between "You want the flower right?" and "Would you like a Bow Tie or a Flower?" Reducing assumptions will let kids truly express who they are.
- Let yourself be conscious of your own bias - We all have bias and being open to reflecting on your own can move the community forward to a world where we all treat each other better.