Have you ever wondered why there are fewer women than men in positions of authority? Why men are likely to make more money than women?
Many women simply aren't conditioned to become leaders from a young age or taught that their ideas are valuable and worthy of expressing. There are many systemic reasons why there are fewer women in positions of authority, like ingrained sexism. However, girls who attend a single-sex school at some point in their education are becoming part of a group that's shedding light on this problem and defying stereotypes. Every girl should attend a single-sex school. Here’s why:
1. She'll have more opportunities to be successful.
My dad wanted me to attend an all-girls school. His best friends who attended all-girls schools were more driven and confident than any of his other female friends and were extremely successful in their careers. This is just his experience, but it's also been proven by professionals in the field, such as Dr. Richard Holmgren, who have studied the advantages and disadvantages of both co-ed and single-sex schools.
Your daughter won’t have equal opportunity—she'll have every opportunity. At Kent Place, there was an abundance of clubs that centered on varying career types, especially those that are usually male-dominated, such as STEM fields and finance. Yes, these clubs exist at co-ed schools, too; however, it would be rare to have an economics club membership that's 100 percent girls. Having these clubs within my reach in a solely female environment and being exposed to a variety of careers at a young age made me feel as if I could study whatever I wanted and inspired me to challenge norms.
2. She can be herself.
Being immersed in an environment with no boys, no need for make-up, and often a uniform or dress code will lift a load of anxiety off your daughter. She'll become more comfortable with who she is, which will inspire her to take risks and push her limits, especially in the classroom. According to the National Coalition of Girls Schools (NCGS), “Girls’ school students spend more hours a week doing homework, attending study groups, tutoring others, and working with their teachers than co-ed school students.” A girl's self-worth is based less on her appearance, and more on her personality, her intelligence, and her work ethic.
3. She will be a confident leader.
Your daughter will be surrounded by powerful female role models, whether they're her teachers, her coaches, speakers who visit campus, or older students. This empowers girls from a young age to take action and want to become a CEO. Girl power is contagious, right?
At Kent Place, every Monday and Friday we had morning meeting, where students made announcements to the entire school. Even though initially my hands would shake initially as if I'd had ten cups of coffee, the more I spoke in front of my school, the more confident I felt and the better leader I became. I was able to verbalize my thoughts and speak in front of a large crowd without being inhibited or upstaged by boys.
The self-doubting caveat “I don’t know if this is right. . .” girls commonly use to preface a statement in class was eliminated from my vocabulary early on in my single-sex education. I learned to believe in what I know and view negative feedback as a learning experience rather than a stop sign.
Still not convinced?
You may be thinking: No boys? Won’t she have trouble when she goes to college? Or even socializing with them in general?
Think again. She isn’t going to be in a hormone-filled bubble that’s restricted from socializing with the male species. Girls will still interact with boys, whether it be in a co-ed a cappella group partnered with an all-boys school or in their social lives outside of school. The transition to college will present a few difficulties, but with the lessons learned through studying in a close-knit environment, girls will be prepared to take on any challenge that comes their way.
It's up to you to provide your daughter with all the tools she needs to be happy and successful during her education and into her career. Help make it the norm so that there can be generations of female leaders. The future of girls is in our hands; make the right choice for your daughter.