UNESCO HQ, 30 June 2017
Round table: Soft Power - The Importance of Role Models in Changing Cultural Norms
Girls and boys are conditioned by their gender roles from birth. In science class, we learn about the contributions of Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein, but we rarely learn about the impact of female scientists such as Hypatia or Rosalind Franklin. From an early age, girls learn that they are not expected by society to become scientists, engineers, innovators, or leaders. As a result, women are still drastically underrepresented in too many areas such as STEM fields especially in leadership positions. UNESCO believes that role models can break down barriers in the minds of any girl and boy and inspire them to challenge cultural norms.
This panel will discuss the importance of mentors and role models for women and girls, and explore innovative initiatives to ensure that women and girls receive the positive encouragement they need to succeed and become leaders. Through their personal experiences and work, the panelists will also discuss the way forward for UNESCO in this domain.