Girls’ school graduates have an edge

26 Mar

Some of you may know that I went to an all-girls school for six years of my academic career. From 7th grade through 12th grade I was lucky enough to attend Castilleja School. It was 6 years in a very small school, with a uniform, in an all girls environment.  Sometimes when I tell people about Castilleja their immediate reaction is, “oh poor you, your parents were mean, huh?”  They also often assume that all-girls schools = religious schools. Castilleja was not a punishment inflicted upon me by my parents. It is not a religious school. It is a tremendous academic institution that is committed to giving girls a leg up in the world by promoting women in leadership, women in science, women in math, women in sports, etc.  It prepared me for life in ways that I continue to appreciate, even now, as a 35-year old wife, mother of 2, and technology CEO.

I remember being at Princeton for college and hearing other female students groan and complain about gender inequities in academia. I remember female classmates saying they had a hard time speaking up in class, or talking to professors or teaching aides — and blaming those issues on being female. I never felt this way at Princeton. EVER. I felt confident in my academics as a person – and never really thought about whether my perceptions or experiences were different, because I am a girl.  As I think back on why the difference between me and many of my female classmates at Princeton, I have to put the credit on Castilleja. They produced a confident, well-educated woman, well positioned for anything Princeton threw at me. What’s more, I think it is the basis of what has made me successful in an industry and in a position that is dominated by men.

So what’s  my point? It turns out that research shows the girls’ school graduates  have an edge. Seriously we do. The research says we do. Go ahead and check it out yourself.  So thank you Castilleja! Thank you for educating me in such an all-round way, and ingraining into me that I could do anything. Because now, here I am in a male-dominated world, as the CEO of a high-technology company, confident that I can do anything. Now if there were only something to help me through the working-mommy guilt — all my problems would be solved. Well, not really, but it’s nice to think that way! 😉

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9 Responses to “Girls’ school graduates have an edge”

  1. Sally Reed March 27, 2009 at 9:10 am #

    This piece is a wonderful testimonial for single-sex education. you have spontaneously mentioned almost all of the benefits we talk about when we explain the advantages of a girls’ school. It’s a very engaging piece.

    May we link to your blog?

  2. Meg Milne Moulton March 27, 2009 at 10:14 am #

    Who better to ring the chimes for girls’ schools than one of our graduates. There’s no doubt that you benefited from the hallmarks of girls’ school eductaion – high expectations, instilling a ‘can do’ attitude, fostering creativity and curiosity, putting learning and girls growing up in centered, self-confident ways on center stage.

  3. Jeannie Im March 31, 2009 at 6:05 am #

    Thanks for an informative post! I grew up in co-ed schools, so it’s interesting to know what life was like in a single-sex school. And even though my daughter is just a baby now, your post gave me something to consider as I think about her educational future. I’d love for her to grow up in the kind of intellectually stimulating and supportive environment that you describe.

  4. Leticia- Tech Savvy Mama April 1, 2009 at 4:10 pm #

    What a great post! I almost went to Castelleja with you! When I was looking at colleges, my mom never thought that I would go to a women’s college but when I visited Mt. Holyoke, it was clear that I was to go there. I was not only amazed by the beauty of the campus, but by the confidence, strong community, and incredible opportunities available to women. I truly value my single-sex college education because it helped develop my confidence and shaped my outlook on life.

  5. girls schools August 9, 2009 at 10:24 pm #

    Girls schools prepare girls very confidently to enter into the professionalism by giving quality based teaching programs. These girls institutes offer several career making courses or programs. These girls institutes are highly dedicated towards helping their students to achieve their goal and get a successful career. Girls schools educational program are very effective for making the girl’s better career. These learning centers for girls provide experienced, certified instructors who are committed for teaching.

  6. Brian Fisher July 28, 2010 at 12:39 pm #

    Nice heartfelt appreciation of Castilleja. The clinical evidence is nice but I like the personal tone.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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    […] month I wrote a post on my blog, all about research that showed girls who graduated from all girls’ schools had an […]

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    […] In the meantime, it’s time to start preparing for our next Speech Club debate – yet again on a topic about which I have no strong opinions – girls’ schools. […]

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