Tara Chklovski beats to the tune of her own drum. And she understands the importance of teaching our youth to do the same. She believes that teaching the younger generation to be curious and ask questions will instill confidence and self-efficacy.
Tara is the founder and CEO of Iridescent, a non-profit that’s teaching these lifelong skills through science, technology, and engineering education. On this episode of Xero Gravity, Tara chats with host Elizabeth Ü about the importance of her work and what she’s most concerned about – as well as hopeful for – in the future.
As a young girl, Tara wanted to become an aerospace engineer but found her real passion in helping kids achieve their potential. As someone who’s always thrived on motivating people to do what they thought they couldn’t, Tara’s dedication to her work isn’t surprising. But there’s still a lot of work to do and Tara believes it starts with the parents.
“Our program The Curiosity Machine changes the way parents view science and technology. Children emulate their parents, so you want to empower the parent very early on to not be afraid of these subjects. The hidden target is the parent, but the goal is working with the child,” she says.
Self-efficacy, a belief in yourself to succeed at something, is what Tara hopes to teach kids ages 10-18 at Iridescent’s other program Technovation. According to Tara, it’s especially important for girls to learn so they feel empowered to take on leadership roles – saying that the gender gap in leadership is most concerning to her.
“There’s a lot of data that shows men don’t hesitate when offered a leadership role, even if they don’t have any relevant training. But when women are offered it they tend to be very hesitant. It’s years of these built up experiences that has eroded their self-efficacy… That can only be changed by changing all the smaller messages that women aren’t good enough.”
Tara states that the gender gap in leadership roles is global. But when speaking about the gender gap in technology, Tara sees the gap being much wider in places like the United States.
Tune into Xero Gravity #98 to hear why there’s a wider gender gap in tech in areas like the United States. Tara also shares her four-part formula for self-efficacy and talks about the ways you can get involved.
- Iridescent – non-profit education for kids
If you enjoyed this episode, join us again next week when we chat with Rhys Clareburt, a.k.a the tampon man. A Young kiwi dude, living in Wellington NZ, who quit his job to help start an organic tampon company. Be sure to check out all of our previous episodes for more small business tips, resources and insights.
What would you like to hear?
Got a topic you’d like to hear discussed? Or a business expert you admire and would like to hear from? Let us know in the comments below!
The post Xero Gravity: Tara Chklovski – Tech, toys, and the gender gap appeared first on Xero Blog.