Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg might not necessarily be the first person you would imagine would offer some semblance of dating advice to women, but the social network founder is making the headlines for doing exactly that.
Zuckerberg had posted about his “personal challenge” for 2016 — a modest goal of trying to build himself a home artificial intelligence system like Jarvis in Iron Man to help him with household and work tasks. Like you do.
One woman was impressed with this, and commented that she tells her granddaughters to “date the nerd in school” because he might turn out to be somebody like Mark Zuckerberg. While this was obviously intended as flattery, some rightfully pointed out that this comment also unfortunately reflected the old fashioned idea that women needed to prioritise seeking out a successful man, and the 31-year-old was having none of it.
He doesn’t want females to date the nerd, he wants them to be the nerd and become successful entrepreneurs in their own right.
“I keep telling my granddaughters to date the nerd in school, he may turn out to be a Mark Zuckerberg!” she wrote.
In response, Zuckerberg insisted that the woman instead tell her daughters to become those nerds so they could start their own companies: “Even better would be to encourage them to *be* the nerd in their school so they can be the next successful inventor!”
And as we saw in 2015, plenty of incredible businesswomen on our shores, in particular, did exactly that. From those who are making vast strides in their respective industries to those making a difference in politics, and public figures who are determined to see women better represented in every aspect, females today are forging their own success stories through exceptional talent, skill and determination. A quick glance at our Businesswoman of the Year Awards last year will affirm this and the results speak for themselves.
Nevertheless, it is encouraging to see Zuckerberg offer sound, positive advice to women making their mark in their careers; no doubt his newborn daughter Max will heed this when she grows up. It’s also a fantastic affirmation for girls who grow up reading stories where the boys are the ones on hero’s quests, and the girls are merely there to fall in love with them. And as he is such a visible leader in the world of technology, his words haven’t gone unnoticed – his comment was liked and shared an amazing 30,000 times in less than 24 hours.
It’s a new year, so be the heroes of your own story; be the nerd and show the world what you’re made of.