How Smart Girls Change the World


How Smart Girls Change the World

By: Allison Grealis

It’s 2015 and it’s cool to be a smart girl. Young women are growing up with ideas that they can do anything they want to do, be anyone they want to be, and that they can change the world. What a concept! Seeds of success are planted at a young age, but is anyone telling girls how they can change the world? What are the steps they need to take to achieve this? Are there any? 

I’m a huge fan of Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls, an online community that encourages women and girls to: “Change the World by Being Yourself.” And I’m a huge fan of that motto because there are no steps to success concretely outlined here. Just ‘be yourself’. Sounds simple enough, right? 

Unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple. ‘Being yourself’ oftentimes doesn’t come as naturally to us women as it should. To reach success, we often believe that we need to follow someone else, or do something the way it has always been done. This way of thinking reiterates stereotypes that boys like math, science and history and that girls like writing and art. It is widely believed that for women, following this safe path to success is both fulfilling and fail-proof. 

I, however, work in an industry that’s largely male dominated. The manufacturing industry is about 73% men and 27% women. Obsolete stereotypes and expectations hinder the growth of female participation in the sector and further contribute to the gender gap. Although the manufacturing field provides innumerable opportunities for women, it is often overlooked as a career option. This is why I started Women in Manufacturing (WiM), an organization that supports, promotes and inspires women in this field. 

I have met the most intelligent and inspiring women through WiM and they excel at what they do because of who they are. They are themselves. They are engineers, scientists, programmers, operators, technicians, just to name a few. These women love what they do and they are changing the world by showing girls that they can do the same. 

Women who pursue their passions, and pave the way for others to do so, are smart girls. We’re proud to host Meredith Walker, co-founder of Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls, at our WiM 2015 SUMMIT in Minneapolis, MN, this fall. This national event attracts women from around the country for professional development and networking opportunities, as well as relevant keynote speakers and panel discussions. 

When fellow smart girls—or in our case, smart women—get together, their influence and inspiration is infectious. We can’t wait to see how our current generation of smart women will impact the next. This is how smart girls change the world.