This year a projected 37 million young people and adults participated in Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work Day. I don't have any children but there's one special young person in my life that I just knew would love to check out IDEO - my 10 year-old cousin Merritt.
In late April of this year Merritt got out of school a little early and came to IDEO for a tour. Together we talked about design thinking, we tried to understand what innovation means, and we even checked out OpenIDEO's website! We also explored different areas of IDEO's office, including the Tech Box - a big cabinet of different materials, tools and other inventions to help inspire IDEO designers when they're working. We looked at the Shop and saw people using tools to build things - and then most importantly (for a 10 year-old) we went and had a milkshake at the local diner! Over milkshakes, Merritt told me how excited she was about design and how she wanted to go home and 'build something'. Talk about a lightbulb moment for her!
Imagine what might happen if every 10, 12, 15 or 18 year-old had the chance to go to a workplace and explore what work looked like there? How might we inspire this new generation of employees and leaders to get excited about and feel empowered by work?
Designed to be more than a career day, the Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work® program goes beyond the average “shadow” an adult. Exposing girls and boys to what a parent or mentor in their lives does during the work day is important, but showing them the value of their education, helping them discover the power and possibilities associated with a balanced work and family life, and providing them an opportunity to share how they envision the future and begin steps toward their end goals in a hands-on and interactive environment is key to their achieving success. Each year, we develop new interactive activities and partnerships that will assist us in taking girls and boys to the future they dream of.
By bringing girls and boys together, we will continue to create a more equitable world—at home, at school, in the workplace, and in the community. This year we are celebrating the opportunities that girls and boys will discover and the opportunities for parents, mentors, and the community to continue involvement in this unique educational experience.