Dear Young Women:
We live in a world where you can be and do anything you want to.
We’re confident that you’ll be brave in the face of adversity. You’ll be a LEADER in the classroom, on the soccer field, on the shop floor, and in the boardroom.
We’re watching and will cheer you on, because you’re INTELLIGENT and will solve some of the world’s greatest challenges. You have TENACITY and you get at the truth. You’re DEDICATED and CONFIDENT and will help break barriers. As a SPIRITED and PASSIONATE woman, you can smash glass ceilings.
Don’t limit yourself. You don’t have to be the label that people put on you. You can — and you will — change the world.
– Nour Hachem-Fawaz, President & Founder
As they’re planning for their future, we often advise young women to follow their passion. But what if they haven’t discovered it yet? At an already-confusing time of their lives, we’ve now added even more pressure of making some daunting decisions for their future.
Starting the career planning process doesn’t have to be a chore, though, and high schools offer many resources that can help students make informed decisions without the pressure. Here are some tips to get started:
- Talk to a teacher. It may be a teacher who can identify what your daughter has an aptitude for. If you (or she) get that feedback, take it seriously, and look for programs where your daughter can explore it further, she can end up in a career that’s well-suited for her.
- Talk to guidance. Encourage your daughter to visit her guidance office to see what tools and resources are available. Speak with a guidance counsellor and ask about community initiatives that may help your daughter explore and discover new career pathways. Activities like FIRST Robotics, Skills Ontario, and March Break and summer camps are great avenues to help guide her to find her passion.
- Explore co-op and the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP). Co-op placements are an excellent way for a young woman to learn new skills and experience what different careers involve. OYAP is an enhanced co-op program where students can get credit for working on a skilled trade apprenticeship. Some OYAP placements even pay their students.
- Sign up for a Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM). Your daughter can bundle field-specific courses and workshops together to graduate with a special seal on her diploma. Specializing may help your daughter find and refine (or even change) her career goals.
Educators can play a significant part in career planning. Before you pay for a post-secondary program that your daughter may not love, make time to discuss how your school can help your family make more informed choices about the future.