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Be True to Yourself Rather Than to Your Gender

By Marty Nemko

A female high school student who is good in math was strongly encouraged by her counselor to go into engineering. Privately, she told her girlfriends that she wasn't excited about engineering but felt she'd be acting like a pre-feminist dinosaur if she didn't. I wish someone would have explained to her that a much higher percentage of women engineering majors end up changing majors. And, according to a SUNY Stony Brook study, among those who persevere and become engineers, twice as many women as men leave the field. Of course, people of both genders should be encouraged to consider non-traditional occupations, but we mustn't guilt-trip women who prefer traditional ones.

What can you do today?
Are you doing something because of external pressure that isn't really best for you? Is it time to resist the pressure and be true to yourself?

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