Mark Zuckerberg's recent rallying cry to all girls to 'Be the nerd' as opposed to 'Marry the nerd' is a welcome counter cry to celebrity culture, instant fame, and fortune relentlessly hurled at our young girls today.
Perhaps we need more endorsement by successful role models like Zuckerberg et al to make 'nerd' like subjects such as science, technology, engineering and mathematics (often termed STEM subjects) a LOT lot cooler.
Many gender diversity issues start with the choice of what university course to study. Highlighting a variety of digital/tech/engineering roles as career options for girls that are not only lucrative and interesting but also 'cool' could encourage more girls to consider more technical careers and help in some small way to address the lack of decent career advice available in schools. I'm loving the #BeTheNerd hashtag currently doing the rounds on social channels - there's nothing like seizing a negative stereotype and subverting it into something you can own and even aspire to!
A grandmother wrote on the Facebook CEO's page about how she encourages her granddaughter to always date the nerd because he might turn out to be the next Mark Zuckerberg and make billions. But Zuckerberg had some wise words about the granddaughter's prospects. "Even better would be to encourage them to *be* the nerd in their school, so they can be the next successful inventor," Zuckerberg said in a pitch-perfect response.