Why your buying decisions could be contributing to gender inequality @Magformers_Au #techgirls #STEM #changetheratio

We are excited to bring you a guest blog post from our partners Magformers Australia. Have you seen these great brain development toys? They just won the Australian Educational Toy of the Year award. We are also super excited to announce this special offer – use the code below to receive a 10% discount on the price, and an additional 10% of your purchase price goes to towards the awesome projects at the Tech Girls Movement. The product of the month is the STEAM Master Set – Use this code to get your #techgirls discount – TECHGIRLSMAKERSPACE

Purchase the Magformers STEAM Master Set to help grown the young minds of the future

Post from Magformers Australia

It is no secret that gender inequality exists in certain professions and careers such as aviation and construction, as well as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) related careers. Is there something you can do to help rectify this? Or is there something you are doing that is actually perpetuating the problem?

What you may not realise is that gender inequality in professions, particularly those in STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths, might have a lot to do with what toys you are choosing to buy for young girls. A recent survey conducted by Magformers Australia revealed that only 14% of people bought Magformers – a magnetic construction toy, specifically for a girl.  All young children, whether boys or girls, must develop essential spatial skills while they are in their early learning stages. However, many adults still buy gender specific toys, like cars and building toys for boys; or dolls, play kitchens and make up for girls, thereby encouraging them to develop a skill set that may be gender biased.

Career opportunities are, among other things, dependent on the skills children develop when they are growing up. Having played with construction toys throughout their childhood, boys are often presented with more opportunities in careers where fine motor skills and spatial awareness are required. Think mechanics, engineering and aviation. How can girls be expected to have the same opportunities, even in a perfect world, if they are not equipped with the same skills?

“The future of your children is, even if not entirely, significantly, dependent on what they play with today” says Opal Kiang from Magformers Australia, of which the Creative Set won the 2016 Educational Product of the Year Award. Ms Kiang was shocked when a father told her at a recent Pregnancy Babies & Children Expo: “I have two girls, so Magformers isn’t for us”. Girls need to spend time playing with construction toys as much as boys, in order for their brains to be developed with the same essential skills, such as spatial awareness, rotation, mathematical thinking, scientific thinking, imagination, logical reasoning and problem solving skills, all of which are required for them to be able to create, innovate and advance the technology of tomorrow. According to Dr. Jenine Beekhuyzen, Founder of the Tech Girls Movement and Deakin University Adjunct Professor, such early development of skills can help balance out the lack of diversity we currently see in STEM industries.

We suggest that if you have a daughter, niece, grand-daughter, think twice next time you are buying toys for them. For girls to grow up with a real fighting chance to get into careers that are currently male dominated, they must first be equipped with the skills necessary to be good at those careers. By the same token, if you want your boy to grow up to be more emotionally intelligent and in touch with his feelings, don’t just always buy the same stereotypical boys toys. Instead, buy him toys that will help develop emotional skills. Remember the buying decisions you make today may have lasting effects on your children.

For more information, please contact:

Opal Kiang


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