Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Daughters: A Work in Progress

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Daughters: A Work in Progress

Article excerpt

Ten-year-old Hanun Lumpford has big plans after she becomes a judge.

"I'd like to change the robes to another color," she said. "White, I think."

Lumpford will take one step closer to that goal Thursday when she shadows attorney Maia Brodie of Clayton for Take Our Daughters to Work Day. Nationwide, millions of girls like Lumpford and Jessica Wente of Creve Coeur will make their own Web sites, watch births in delivery rooms and star in their own television commercials, all in the name of learning about what it takes to succeed in the work world. Lumpford has a good start already. She participates in Girls Inc. of St. Louis, an outreach organization. A fifth-grader at Ashland Elementary, a public school in St. Louis, she earns A's and B's and tutors peers after school. "Everybody can really learn," Lumpford said. "Sometimes they don't try. I don't think I'm better than anybody else, because everybody else can learn lots of things, too." The Ms. Foundation founded the day five years ago in response to statistics about the sense of self-confidence among adolescent girls. The foundation said that girls feel self-confident until the ages of 10, 11 and 12. But, the Foundation said, "as adolescence begins, girls show a significant drop in self-esteem, report a lowered sense of self-worth, and describe intense feelings of insecurity about their own judgment and emotions." Those feelings carry into the work world and discourage women from aiming high, the report said. Though women make up 46 percent of the work force, only 2 percent hold power positions in corporate America. Jessica Wente, 11, thinks that isn't right. "Men are used to being in charge," she said. "There's nothing wrong with that; that's just how things have been. But I think women can do these types of jobs." Wente knows this from experience. …

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