New York City's Senior Deputy Schools Chancellor On Where Girls' Education Needs To Go Next
Education is a vital part of creating opportunities for girls, and Dr. Dorita Gibson, the Senior Deputy Chancellor of New York City Schools, knows a few things about it. She’s the second in command to the New York City’s Schools Chancellor and has served as everything from an elementary school teacher to overseeing a network of alternative high schools for underserved students.
Ellevate Network recently hosted a day of girls’ empowerment in New York City with Strawberry Shortcake, L’Oreal USA and the Girls Scouts of Greater New York. It was a day of fireside chats where Girl Scouts posed questions to leading professional women about the state of girls today and in the future.
During her fireside chat with the Girl Scouts and Ellevate, Dorita talked about how much education has changed in the past 15 years and what we need to do next to make sure girls succeed.
We’ve Made Progress With Girls’ Education, But There Is More To Be Done
The beauty of working right now is that there are so many opportunities. Dorita hears girls saying that they want to be so many things, be it Beyonce or the President. The opportunities are out there because teachers are encouraging girls.
The question now is, “How do we get there?” How do we work with our young women to make sure that they follow the right path, that they’re able to get to that next level.
Education Has Changed A Lot, And For The Better
In the past 15 years, the work around women and STEM and having women going into medical fields and becoming engineers has become a really big focus. It used to be that when growing up, there were girl-things to do and boy-things to do, but that’s not the case anymore.
Bullying Is Still An Issue
Bullying is a challenge on every level. Dealing with bullying is important not because someone’s a girl, but because it’s important to be able to be your own person and have people respect you.
Dorita said that it's easy to talk about respect for all, but we really need to live it with everyone -- both boys and girls. We also need to create a place where young people can go if they feel that they’re being treated differently.
The Importance Of Integrity
Be true to yourself. Integrity is very important. It’s nice to be with the in-crowd and follow everyone, but don’t always.
If you believe in your vision, don’t let anyone steer you in the wrong direction. Know what you need to do to get where you want to go, be it college, a career and beyond.
Advice To Girls About Taking A Job
Don’t take a job that doesn’t have a next step. If you go into a job you have to have a vision. Maybe you don’t know exactly what you want to be, but you don’t have to be that for the rest of your life. There has to be growth. And if there’s a woman at your job that you admire, be like her and dress like her as you move into the next direction.
The Biggest Obstacle She’s Faced
Jumping from being an elementary school teacher to the assistant principal of a junior high school was a huge step. She knew it was going to be a different journey. But if she hadn’t done it, she wouldn’t have moved up to where she is today.