All Girls Are Good At Math
BY: KATE HENNESSY, CFP®
The fear and intimidation that women face about finances can start at an early age.
Research has shown that as young as 4th grade girls believe they are equal to boys and can do anything boys can do – girls enjoy and are good at both math and science.
As a financial advisor and mother of two young strong willed daughters, I see these traits. I see what scoring well on a math test does to our daughters’ confidence. I also see the opposite when they don’t do as well.
Studies have shown that as young girls enter high school, they become less confident about math and their ability to do well relative to boys. This lack of confidence is often driven by perception – young girls are more likely to think of mathematicians and finance professionals as men, which may explain why few women enter these fields. When a 15 year old girl loses confidence in her ability to do well in math, she starts to lose interest.
What are the consequences of that 15 year old girl losing interest in math? Consequences are that fewer women in college choose to study science and math which then leads to fewer women in professions like financial services.
In my own profession, women represent only 31 percent of financial advisors in the U.S.
So, what do we need to do to reverse this course and encourage more girls not to lose interest in math? We need to encourage and support the young women in high school not to give up when a test doesn’t go their way, remind them that they are good at math, and that they are the future of financial services.